Articles Posted in Dog Bite

A lawsuit was filed in the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, LA over an alleged dog attack which took place in March of this year.

Kevin Karrigan, a United States Postal Service employee, has sued Louis Alonso Gomez and ABC Insurance Co. for injuries sustained when Gomez’s dog purportedly bit Karrigan.

According to the suit, Karrigan was delivering mail on Presidential Street in Jefferson Parish when Gomez’s dog escaped its enclosure and attacked Karrigan. The suit claims that the fence enclosing the dog was defective, which allowed the animal to escape. The complaint further alleges that Gomez negligently failed to maintain the fence in a working manner, failed to maintain control of his dog, and failed to provide a warning of the danger.

A Gretna mother recently filed suit for injuries sustained by her four-year-old son during an attack by a neighborhood pit bull. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant, who keeps four pit bulls in his fenced-in yard next door to the plaintiff, failed to supervise and control the dogs thereby negligently permitting them to roam the neighborhood from an opening in the fence.

The plaintiff claims that, on the day of the incident, her son was chasing their family cat around the neighborhood when he ran by the opening in their neighbor’s fence through which the dogs commonly exited the yard. As the child approached this opening, one of the pit bulls reached through the opening in the fence, biting the child and dragging him through to the neighboring yard. The child sustained scratches and lacerations to his face and skull, severe lacerations to his thigh, puncture wounds, bruises, and contusions.

Like most, if not all, jurisdictions, Louisiana recognizes negligence as a theory of liability upon a showing that the defendant (1) owed a duty of care, (2) the defendant breached the duty owed, (3) the defendant’s substandard conduct was both a cause-in-fact and legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, (4) actual damages. Successfully proving each of these elements establishes a prima facie case of negligence from which a plaintiff may recover for damages sustained.

When an individual suffers an injury at the hands of another, it can be a devastating experience to both the individual and his or her family. It can impose unforeseen medical costs, result in an inability to work, create a dire financial hardship, or otherwise create a very difficult experience for everyone involved. But this is why we have the civil justice system: to make the victim “whole” by providing a means for obtaining legal relief against the wrongdoer.

In pursuit of fairness and equity, however, the law sometimes recognizes considerations in favor of the wrongdoer. One of the most prominent of these considerations are statutes of limitations—or, as we say here in Louisiana, “prescription”. Prescription describes the procedural device that places a time limit on a plaintiff’s right to pursue a claim. So, for instance, if you were injured as a result of another person’s negligence, you have one year to file the claim in court before prescription bars you from filing the lawsuit altogether. While there are many nuances to this general rule and different prescriptive periods for different causes of action, it generally operates in this way. As mentioned above, prescription works in favor of the wrongdoer and for good reason. It ensures that injured plaintiffs pursue their claims with reasonable diligence, it gives defendants certainty about the timing of a potential claim against them so they can adequately prepare a defense, and it keeps the lawsuit temporally close to when the injury occurred so that potential witnesses and evidence to be presented at trial are still available.

But lawsuits can sometimes get overly complicated, leading to oversights and inaccuracies by parties to the suit, attorneys, and judges. One classic instance of such an oversight is where the plaintiff names the improper defendant in the lawsuit, and in the meantime, prescription on the claim against the proper defendant runs. What happens in this situation? Do the courts let procedural rules trump the overarching goals of equity and fairness in the justice system?

The Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) 2014-15 officers and members of the Board of Governors were installed June 5, in conjunction with the LSBA’s Annual Meeting in Destin, Fla.

Lafayette lawyer, Blake R. David, was installed by Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson as the Third District Member of LSBA’s Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is comprised of 22 volunteer leaders who are charged with fiscal responsibility for the LSBA and with administration of the affairs of the Association. The LSBA assists more than 22,000 members in the practice of law.

Blake R. David was raised in Lafayette and is a founding partner of Broussard & David, LLC. Mr. David focuses on personal injury and wrongful death litigation with an emphasis on offshore/maritime, trucking accident, aviation, products liability, industrial accident, and automobile claims.

The dollar amounts paid for dog bite claims by insurance companies has increased drastically recently, while the number of claims has remained relatively the same.

Information released recently revealed that in 2012, $489.7 million was paid by insurance companies for dog bite claims. On average, insurance companies paid $29,752 per dog bite claim, a 55% increase over the past decade. These figures account for more than one-third of all money paid in homeowners claims.

While this increase is positive for those injured by dog bites, it could present problems for homeowners if a dog bit occurs at their home. insurers could raise premiums or exclude dog bite injuries from homeowners’ coverage after a bite.

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