Posted: August 4th, 2017
A High Court judge has awarded a woman more than €234,000 in settlement of her dog bite injury claim after a hearing for the assessment of damages.
The woman – who cannot be named under direction by the High Court – was enjoying an evening walk near her home when she approached two boxer dogs standing at the top of the driveway to their owner´s home. The two dogs started to approach the woman and, when she told them to go home, they jumped up and attacked her, knocking her onto the verge of the road.
During the prolonged attack, the woman suffered multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to both arms as she tried to shield her face, and smaller lacerations to her face and body. The dogs only stopped attacking the woman when a passing motorist sounded the horn on her car and the dogs ran away. The woman has multiple scars across her face and body, and suffered emotionally from her ordeal.
After the attack was reported to the Garda, the dogs were destroyed. The woman also made a dog bite injury claim against the owners of the dog, who admitted liability for her injuries. The woman´s claim was then referred to the High Court for the assessment of damages, and the assessment hearing took place last week before Mr Justice Anthony Barr.
At the assessment hearing, Judge Barr was shown photographs of the woman both before and after the attack. He also heard evidence from a medical expert confirming the injuries the woman had sustained and accepted that she suffered a moderate form of post-traumatic stress disorder following the attack that has affected her personality and mental state.
Awarding the woman €234,557 in settlement of her dog bite injury claim, the judge commented she had undergone a terrifying attack that had left her with substantial scarring. Judge Barr added he was confident the woman had not tried to embellish the details of the attack, nor had tried to exaggerate the injuries she had suffered.
Posted: March 27th, 2015
A seventeen year-old boy has received a five-figure settlement of compensation for a dog bite after it was ruled that an animal rescue centre was negligent.
In November 2009, Rhys Loy was cycling home from school in Raheny, Dublin. On his way, Rhys, who was just twelve years old, at the time, was bitten by a five year-old dog that was being walked by Anecy Sholling, his foster owner.
Rhys was then taken to the Children’s University Hospital in Temple Street. He had suffered a superficial laceration to his calf, and at the hospital the cut was stitched together. However, Rhys returned t the hospital on many further occasions to have his dressings changed and his wound cleaned.
Acting on her son’s behalf, Sinead Byrne made a claim for personal injury compensation against the dog’s owners, Deidre and Gina Hetherington, who work at the PAWS animal rescue shelter in Co. Tipperary. Sinead also organised a warrant for the dog to be euthanised.
However, the Hetheringtons denied that they were liable for Rhy’s injuries. They claimed that Ms Sholling had adopted the dog, a collie named Charlie, from them many moths before he attacked Rhys. They also claimed that they did not know the location of the dog, as it went missing after it escaped the Gardai trying to execute the warrant.
The claim was heard earlier this month at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard a testimony that Ms Sholling was fostering the dog when it attacked Rhys, and that she had returned it to PAWS after the incident had occurred.
It was determined that the dog had indeed been owned by the rescue centre when it attacked Rhys, and Judge Groarke found in Rhy’s favour. He ordered Deirdre and Gina to pay Rhys €7,500 in compensation. The judge also commented that he did not believe that it was coincidental that Charlie escaped capture.
Posted: January 17th, 2014
A teenager, who sustained grave injuries when she was attacked by an errant Rottweiler as a child, has received a six-figure settlement of compensation.
The accident occurred on the 26th December 2011 when Lauren Kelly, aged just nine, was playing in the street with her friends. During a game of “hunting the wren”, Lauren was walking around her town, Abbeylara in Co. Longford, when she came across the Rottweiler. The dog had been allowed to leave its owner’s property.
Lauren was attacked by the dog and, despite her mother trying to intervene, she sustained several bites to her right arm. She was then taken to hospital, where she received treatment for twenty-six puncture wounds. Since the attack, Lauren has also had several skin grafts and has been left with dramatic scars.
Acting on Lauren’s behalf, her father – Michael – made a claim against William Crawford, the owner of the stray Rottweiler. Crawford admitted that he was responsible for Lauren’s injures and entered negotiations with the family concerning compensation. Eventually, a settlement of €150,000 was agreed between the parties.
The case proceeded to Dublin’s High Court for approval of the settlement. Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard evidence of how Lauren had been violently shaken by the dog during the attack, and of how she continues to experience nightmares. Though these, and her bouts of sleepwalking, have stopped, Lauren is still afraid of large dogs.
Judge Cross proceeded to approve the settlement of compensation for the dog attack. The settlement will be held in a trust until Lauren reaches adulthood. However, it will still be accessible by her parents should Lauren require further medical treatment for her injuries.