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Man Killed in California Dog Attack


Jerry Yates, 69, was killed in a dog bite incident after he was mauled on his own property by two large pit bulls that belonged to a neighbor. According to an ABC News report, Yates’s body was found with large bite marks and torn flesh, the afternoon of August 22, 2010. Authorities say Yates’ wounds suggest that he died trying to fight off the dogs. The owner of the dogs, Sheryl Sellers, has been arrested on a single felony charge of allowing vicious animals at large. Officials say she held the dogs in an enclosure, which was clearly inadequate to restrain dogs of that size. Sellers surrendered the pit bulls, which have since been euthanized.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jerry Yates. Apparently, Yates was a Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Vietnam. Tragic! Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers.

Fatal Dog Attack Statistics

According to Seattle-based nonprofit group,, in 2007, there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Additionally, there were 23 fatal attacks in 2008, 32 in 2009, and this year alone, we have already had 21 fatal dog attacks. In 2009, pit bulls made up only 5 percent of the U.S. dog population, but they accounted for 44 percent of fatal dog attacks for that year. Nearly 4.5 million people sustain personal injuries as a result of dog attacks in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

California Dog Bite Law and Liability Issues

California Civil Code section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

A dog owner can be held financially liable for the damage his or her dog does. In this particular case, the dog owner faces a felony criminal charge for failing to keep the dogs restrained. In such cases where negligence is apparent, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise injured dog bite victims or their families about their legal rights and options.

Do you believe there should be a ban on owning pit bulls?

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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3 responses to “Man Killed in California Dog Attack”

  1. candice box says:

    I think whom ever wrote this story needs to retrack its, Yes if very sad this happend but nobody knows what really happend i feel the lady who owned these dogs played a big part in it a dog dosnt get mean inless it is showed how to act the way toward humans or lack of soical positive contact with humans there is no such thing as a born mean pitbull sorry but theres not and as for the writer of the article i truly cant beleive of all the pics of dogs you chose to use this pic people like you are what adds to giving this breed a bad name and im this pic isnt even a pic of one of the dogs involved so why would you intechanly put up a visciose pic like this o and another thing i noted you used the words large pitbulls frist pitbull isnt even a brees so please get your facts write if your gonna tell the worls your story and second breed standard with akc and ukc state something along the lines of weith for this breed is betweeen 30 to 45/50 pounds tops now if you talk to most vets they would say a dog that size is a med sized dog so it really seams you either have no idea what your talken about you just wanted to make sure you wtrote a good story!!!!!!

  2. jami says:

    I am the daughter of jerry yates, the man killed by the pits. Yes, they were pit bulls. & yes, their owner i hold 100% responsible. she left those dogs alone on a hill on a sat morn & didnt return til after 10pm on sunday. my dad died around 3pm that day. after the investigation i went up there & saw no evidence of food or water, keep in mind the weather was hot, around 100degrees. ”neighbor’ is stretching it;my dad was helping her out, as he did for so many. his kindness got him killed & now she wants to shirk responsibility. any advice for our family would be greatly appreciated. I plan to go after her civilly. she has devestated our family emotionally and financially. making us have to go to court was the last straw for me.

  3. floobs says:

    The first person who wrote their comment needs to learn English. You have the writing level of an 8 year old. Learn how to write you retard. Also, pitbulls are naturally aggressive regardless of their upbringing, and need to be locked up lock and key. Seriously dude, learn how to write, you can’t even spell intentionally. Dumb F.

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