Sometimes, especially in dog bite cases involving young children, it’s hard to tell what’s scarier – the thought of a large dog viciously attacking the child or the denial of the dog owner who vehemently refuses to believe that his or her “pet” could do something like that. Take the example of this dog owner in Honolulu who denies that her dogs are vicious in spite of the fact that the animals repeatedly attacked children on the beach and she was even sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines in connection with those incidents!
According to an article in The Boston Globe, a jury in Hawaii made a decision against this particular dog owner, Mariko Bereday, and in favor of Keeton Manguso, a 2-year-old boy, giving the boy $856,000 in damages for injuries he suffered when Bereday’s unrestrained Rottweiler attacked the toddler on the beach.
Keeton’s mother, Veronica Tomooka, told the newspaper that she sued not for money, but to have a jury judge this particular dog owner and tell her that she is in fact negligent and liable for injuries her dog caused. And here’s the not-so-surprising part of this story – the dog owner is appealing the jury verdict saying that her dog did not bite the boy and that the photo of the injuries was phony.
Jurors obviously considered other facts in the case – such as, Bereday had been cited once before and had been given five warnings to keep her dogs on a leash. What’s more, less than a week after Keeton was bitten the same Rottweiler attacked another 4-year-old girl. The dog was then ordered to be put down, but again, Bereday is appealing the case. It was then that Bereday was sentenced to five days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
What does her attorney have to say? That his client “didn’t know her dog could do this.”
That is not only ridiculous, but it shows the extent to which dog owners will go to protect their pets. They get attached to the animals and then fail to see reason even when the dogs attack and injure little children. It is appalling in this case that the dog owner adamantly refused to restrain her dog, even after it bit two children!
There is absolutely no question that these dog owners in denial must not only be held liable for their negligence, but face criminal charges. More and more law enforcement agencies are doing that. In fact, Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is currently representing a mailman who was attacked by a pit-bull on his mail route in Westminster. That dog owner, whose other pit-bull was put down months before this attack, is also in denial.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of vicious dogs or dog owners who fail to accept responsibility for their actions and their pets, call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. We will go after these negligent owners and fight for your legal rights and the safety of the community.