Denise Friedrich, an animal control officer in San Jose sustained severe dog bite injuries after two pit bull mixes attacked her the morning of November 3, 2009. According to a news report in the San Jose Mercury News, Friedrich was responding to a complaint from Bikramjit Singh, a homeowner, that the two dogs had strayed into his backyard. When Friedrich got into the backyard, one of the dogs started to attack her. When she tried to fend off the pit bull with her baton, the other dog started to bite her as well. A police officer who came to Friedrich’s rescue eventually shot both dogs because they lunged at him. Friedrich’s suffered nine dog bites on her arms, legs and buttocks.
Police arrested the Lorenzo Garcia, 27, and Jesus Francisco Guzman 29, the owners of the dogs, who have apparently been cited five times before for their dangerous dogs. Both the 80-pound dogs were unneutered. Animal control officers had been called out four other times since last December in connection with these two dogs.
Dog Attack Results in Severe Injuries
My heart goes out to Denise Friedrich, the victim of this horrific dog attack. I wish her the very best for a quick and complete physical and emotional recovery. I would not be surprised if it takes this five-year veteran a while to get back to her job. I’m also relieved that Singh’s two children — 6 and 8 — were not injured in this attack. This incident could have been a lot worse and tragic.
This incident is a classic example of irresponsible dog ownership. If this news report is accurate, the dogs’ owners must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for their negligence and callous disregard for public safety. I shudder to think what might have happened if Singh’s children were playing in the backyard when these pit bull mixes wandered over or if the dogs had attacked other neighbors during the five times before this incident when they wandered away.
California Dog Bite Law
The dog owners could also be held civilly liable for Friedrich’s injuries. California has what is known as a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog bites. California’s 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.”
Although Friedrich would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through her employer, she would also be well-advised to consult a reputed San Francisco personal injury lawyer who has a successful track record representing dog bite victims. The costs of treating a dog bite can add up pretty quickly. Most victims require several cosmetic surgeries to repair scars and psychological counseling to help them deal with the trauma they have just been through.
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.