A young girl who was bit by a Rottweiler in her front yard has confidentially settled a pre-lawsuit claim against the dog’s owners for $300,000, her attorney reports. Brent Arant of Joye Law Firm in Charleston reports that the 10-year-old girl, whose name was withheld due to a confidentiality agreement, was playing in her front yard on a Saturday morning in December 2018 in Charleston when the dog approached her. It appeared to be friendly, but when the girl bent down to pet it, the dog bit her. “She had puncture wounds in her head and neck,” Arant said. “They have healed but left significant scarring. She also has psychological scars, and now she now has a fear of animals.”
The girl’s mother was able to contain the dog until animal control arrived and took it away. It was later determined that the dog’s owners were letting it roam around the neighborhood, and it had bitten someone the night before.
“There really was no defense,” Arant said. “Dogs are an extension of their owners, and owners are responsible for their dogs. In this particular case, the owners and the dog caused irrevocable harm. We made it our mission from day one to let the insurance company know and the insured know the severity of their actions. We presented this case where the insurance company had only one option, and that was to pay the policy limits. This result sends a message to other dog owners and insurance companies that people demand accountability for recklessness when it comes to animals and their owners.” Stephen Griffith of Clawson and Staubes in Charleston represented the dog’s owners. He declined to comment on the settlement.
Reprinted with Permission of South Carolina Lawyers Weekly