• BETHLEHEM, PA
    140 E. Broad Street
    Northampton County
    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
    610-866-0469
  • STROUDSBURG, PA
    45 North 7th Street
    Monroe County
    Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360
    570-421-0893
  • PERKASIE, PA
    1282 Route 113
    P.O. Box 178
    Bucks County
    Perkasie, Pennsylvania 18944
    215-257-4842
  • ALLENTOWN, PA
    Lehigh County
    Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104
    610-432-4160
  • EASTON, PA
    Northampton County
    Easton, Pennsylvania 18042
    610-258-6470
  • LANSDALE, PA
    Montgomery County
    Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
    215-368-5545
  • LEHIGHTON, PA
    Carbon County
    Lehighton, Pennsylvania 18235
    610-377-2134
  • QUAKERTOWN, PA
    Bucks County
    Quakertown, Pennsylvania 18951
    215-538-5350

Speak with ME today!

1-800-980-4842

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AttorneyNewell@comcast.net

55 Attorney Newell PA Dog Bite Settlements

York County, PA                                     $ 508,613.84

A York County PA dog bite attack resulted in a $508,613.84 settlement for a mother and her 8 year-old son who were viciously attacked in Hanover PA on 6/1/10.   The two pit bulls escaped from their outside pen and began to maul the boy as he was catching fireflies.   His mother jumped on top of her son to save him.  It took 3 shots from a Hanover Police Officer to put down one of the vicious pit bulls.

The PA dog attack victim underwent a total of  17 surgeries at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital.  The landlord’s insurance company initially tried to deny financial responsibility for this unprovoked attack.  Your PA dog bite attorney successfully fought them in both Federal and State Courts.  Attorney Newell was very pleased to have obtained the liability policy limit of $500,000.00, as well as a medical expense payment of $8,613.84.

Montgomery County, PA                     $ 479,000.00

A Montco dog bite victim received a guaranteed settlement annuity payout totaling $479,000.00 after he was bitten by a neighbor’s German Shepherd near Lansdale, PA.  Two facial surgeries were performed at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, PA and the young boy wore 3 different types of facial splints in the 18 months after the unprovoked dog attack.

The Montgomery County dog attack lawyer presented evidence to the dog owners’ homeowners insurance company that this German Shepherd had a history of numerous unprovoked attacks thereby proving “prior vicious propensities.”  Judge Ort of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas approved Attorney Newell’s Petition for Minor’s Compromise.

Please CONTACT ME to have a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney with over 30 years of experience review your PA dog bite attack claim.

Adams County, PA                                 $ 300,000.00

An Adams County pit bull attack victim’s personal injury claim was settled by Attorney Newell for the $300,000.00 homeowners insurance liability policy limit.  A 6 year old girl was bitten by her neighbor’s pit bull in April of 2011.  A portion of her right nostril was bitten off and she sustained a large laceration to her right cheek.

Surgeons at Meritus Medical Center in Maryland re-attached the severed portion of her nose and performed surgery to close the gaping facial dog bite wound. Facial reconstructive surgery was required in the summer of 2012. The PA dog attack lawyer filed a thirteen page Complaint in April of 2013. The pit bull owner’s insurance company returned to the bargaining table and agreed to pay the $300,000.00, as per Attorney Newell’s demand.

Carbon County, PA                                 $ 202,695.95

A Carbon County dog bite injury claim was settled with a homeowners insurance company making a total payout of $202,695.95.  In the spring of 2014, a young man was skateboarding in Albrightsville. Without any warning, 2 unleashed pit bulls surrounded him. One of the pit bulls bit him multiple times in the back.

The Carbon County dog attack victim was treated at Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital. Stitches were needed to close the numerous dog bite wounds. Meanwhile, one of the pit bull owners was charged with harboring a dangerous dog in violation of the PA Dog Law. She plead guilty to the charge. Your PA dog attack lawyer negotiated the dog bite settlement in less than 7 months post dog attack.

Berks County PA                                    $ 201,000.00

A Berks County PA dog bite case was settled for $201,000.00 on 9/16/15. Your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer performed a thorough investigation of the May 2013 unprovoked dog attack. After establishing liability on the part of the dog owner, Attorney Newell obtained medical records, bills and current photos.

The PA dog attack attorney supplied a detailed analysis to the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company. A structured settlement annuity plan was approved by a Berks County Orphans’ Court Judge after Attorney Newell had settled the dog bite injury claim for $201,000.00.

Bucks County PA                                    $ 152,000.00

Your Bucks County, Pennsylvania dog bite injury attorney obtained Bucks County Orphans’ Court approval of a $152,000.00 dog attack settlement in May of 2015. An Upper Bucks County boy was mauled by a neighbor’s unleashed dog as he was bicycling on a street near his home.

The Bucks County, PA dog attack victim was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown where surgeons needed over 50 stitches to repair the facial dog bite wounds. Attorney Newell was able to obtain the $152,000.00 dog attack settlement amount without having to put the PA dog attack victim thru the unpleasantness of litigation and trial testimony.

Bucks County PA                                   $ 148,544.00

A Bucks County Pennsylvania dog bite attack resulted in a total settlement payout to the victim of $148,544.00. A family took their 2 children to a family gathering. One of the residents owned a rottweiler that viciously attacked a 4 year-old boy without any provocation.

The PA dog bite victim was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center where surgery was needed to close the facial dog bite wounds. The plastic surgeon used approximately 30 stitches to close the facial lacerations. Scar excision surgery was later performed to remove a build-up of scar tissue. A third surgical procedure was then required to attempt to minimize and reduce the scar surface.

The Bucks County PA dog bite lawyer thoroughly investigated the rottweiler attack and thru aggressive settlement negotiation tactics was able to obtain a total payout of $148,544.00 for the dog bite victim.

**Past settlements/verdicts obtained by Attorney Thomas J. Newell in other PA dog bite cases were evaluated according to their specific facts.  They do not guarantee a specific result in your Pennsylvania dog bite case.

Monroe County PA                                $ 135,255.27

A Monroe County PA dog bite victim received a total settlement payment of $135,255.27 after an April 2010 dog attack in Albrightsville Pennsylvania.  The 2 year-old girl was dropped off at her aunt’s house to be babysat.  Her aunt assured her mother that their mixed breed dog would be secluded in another room as it had exhibited prior aggressive tendencies.

Unfortunately, someone let the dog loose and it bit the Poconos dog bite victim in the face.  The little girl was taken to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, PA.  An Easton plastic surgeon was called to operate on the dog bite victim.  He administered 6 injections into her face and then used approximately 40 stitches to close the facial wounds.

The Monroe County PA dog bite lawyer obtained permission from Monroe County Court of Common Pleas to accept a structured settlement from the defendant’s homeowners insurance company totaling $135,255.27.

Lehigh County PA                                 $ 132,000.00

A Lehigh County PA dog bite victim received a settlement of $130,000.00 after she was attacked by a rottweiler in Whitehall PA.  Her parents brought her to a family party.  The homeowner had invited a couple who brought their rottweiler to the party.

Eventually, the homeowner & his friends departed to go watch a local football game.  The rottweiler was left behind at the party without being confined or supervised.  The little girl was playing inside the house when the rottweiler bit her face several times.  Her facial lacerations were repaired by a physician at Lehigh Valley Hospital.   Approximately 50 stitches were needed to close several of the bite wounds.

A Lehigh Valley area plastic surgeon performed scar revision surgery with excellent results.  The Lehigh Valley dog attack attorney filed a lawsuit versus the property owner, as well as the owners of the rottweiler.  The Orphans’ Court Division of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas approved the $132,000.00 settlement for the Whitehall PA dog attack victim.

Monroe County PA                               $ 117,460.00

A Monroe County PA dog attack victim received a total payout of $117,460 after she was bitten by a dog in Blakeslee Pennsylvania.  The little girl was being babysat by  family members while her mother was hospitalized.  Despite a history of prior vicious propensities, this little girl was left unsupervised with this aggressive dog.

The Poconos dog bite victim was bitten over her eye, on her forehead and on her cheek.   She received medical care at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.  She was placed under general anesthesia and the surgeon needed to suture 6 different dog bite wounds.

The Monroe County PA dog bite attorney proved a negligence case based upon the prior vicious propensities, common law negligence, as well  as harboring a dangerous dog in violation of the PA Dog Law.  A structured settlement payment of $117,460.00 was approved by the Orphans’ Court Division of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas as a result of the defendants’ homeowners insurance company paying its policy limit.

York County PA                                   $ 101,000.00

In October of 2015, the York PA dog bite attorney obtained a $101,000.00 payment to settle a York County dog bite claim. A York Pennsylvania family invited many of their neighbors to join them for a Memorial Day Weekend party on 5/23/15. They owned a Rottweiler with a very aggressive disposition. The Rottweiler was originally locked up inside their home. Someone made the decision to let the Rottweiler out.

The vicious dog immediately attacked the woman, biting off a portion of her nose. The York PA dog attack victim underwent surgery at York Hospital and was admitted for further medical care. The York dog attack attorney was hired several days later. He persuaded the negligent dog owners’ insurance company to pay its $101,000.00 liability limit just four months later.

Lehigh County PA                                $ 101,000.00

An Allentown PA dog attack claim was settled for $101,000.00 by Attorney Thomas J. Newell without the necessity of filing a lawsuit versus the reckless dog owner. Your Lehigh Valley dog bite lawyer was able to convince the defendant’s homeowner’s insurance company to pay its policy limit after a visit to their company headquarters in Eastern Pennsylvania.

The Lehigh Valley dog bite victim was bitten on the face in Allentown PA by a terrier that had previously bitten 5 different people. Unfortunately, the dog owner had failed to divulge that information to the victim before her fateful visit. Attorney Newell used this information to demand maximum payment on the case.

Montgomery County PA                     $ 101,000.00

A Montgomery County PA dog bite victim obtained a $101,000.00 policy limit payment after she was bitten by a mixed breed dog in Hatfield PA.   The woman was at a neighborhood party when the homeowner decided to bring her mixed breed dog up from the basement.  The Montco resident asked for permission to pet the dog which was granted by the defendant.

The Montco dog mauling victim was viciously attacked and suffered severe facial injuries.  She underwent surgery at Abington Health/Lansdale Hospital.  Approximately 30 stitches were needed to close her facial lacerations.  The surgeon estimated that she was missing 25-30% of her right lower lip.  Three cortisone injections were later administered to her face.

Subsequently, plastic surgery was performed to help reduce the visibility of the scars.  The Montgomery County dog attack lawyer successfully argued that the defendant harbored a dangerous dog in violation of the PA Dog Law.  The defendants’ homeowners insurance company decided to pay its maximum insurance coverage limit of $101,000.00 to avoid having Attorney Newell file a lawsuit against its insureds.

Northumberland County PA                    $ 101,000.00

A Northumberland County Pennsylvania dog incident case concluded with a policy limit settlement payment of $101,000.00. A woman volunteered to take a neighbor’s food delivery into her home while the neighbor was away. When the woman returned, she went to retrieve the food while permitting her dog to run loose. As the Good Samaritan went to get the food, she tripped over her neighbor’s dog which had run into her home.

The Kulpmont PA personal injury victim was taken to Shamokin Area Community Hospital. X-rays showed a severely fractured right ankle which required open reduction and internal fixation surgery. A 7 hole plate was installed with screws used to stabilize the seven fracture site. The surgery site became infected and 2 additional surgeries were needed to remove several screws.

The Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained the dog owner’s renters insurance liability limit of $100,000.00, as well as the medical pay limit of $1,000.00

Lebanon County PA                                       $ 101,000.00

A Lebanon County Pennsylvania dog bite victim obtained a $101,000.00 settlement after a pit bull attack in Palmyra PA.  A young boy was visiting a friend’s home when a pit bull came into the room and lunged at his face.  The pit bull attack victim sustained a severe laceration to his mouth and jaw area.  He was taken by ambulance to Hershey Medical Center in Hershey PA.

The Lebanon County PA dog bite victim underwent surgery which included nearly 100 stitches to repair the laceration internally and about the same number of sutures to close the wound externally.  There was no apparent violation of the Pennsylvania Dog Law since the pit bull attack occurred in the Defendant’s home.  The PA dog bite attorney contacted the neighbor and was able to persuade him to sign an Affidavit attesting to prior attacks/aggressive acts by the pit bull.

Since the Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer was able to prove prior vicious propensities, he obtained a $101,000.00 settlement which was the policy limit for the homeowner.  $100,000.00 was paid from the liability coverage and $1,000.00 from the medical benefits coverage.  The Minor’s Compromise Petition was approved by Judge Charles Jones, Jr. of the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas.

York County PA                                            $ 92,268.00

A York County Pennsylvania dog bite victim received a settlement payout totaling $92,268.00 after she was bitten by a rottweiler in York PA.  There was only a 3′ high chain link fence separating her backyard from that of her neighbor’s.  The rottweiler jumped up over the fence and bit her in the back of the head.

The rottweiler attack victim was taken to Memorial Hospital in York PA.  18 stitches were needed to close the two dog bite wounds to her scalp.  The owners of the rottweiler plead guilty to four violations of the PA Dog Law:  harboring a dangerous dog, failure to confine, owning an unlicensed dog and failure to have proper rabies vaccination.

Fortunately, the PA dog attack victim’s head wounds healed without any infections or complications.  The PA dog attack attorney negotiated a total payout of $92,268.00 for the York PA resident.

Chester County PA                                     $ 75,000.00

A West Chester PA dog attack on a 4 year old girl resulted in a $75,000.00 payment by the defendant’s homeowners insurance company.  The little girl was visiting her aunt and upon entering the kitchen, she was mauled by the woman’s two Labrador Retrievers.  The PA dog bite victim was bitten on the back of her head, neck, shoulder and near one of her ears.

Physicians at Chester County Hospital needed 6 staples and 10 stitches to close the dog bite wounds.  She was examined three times by her pediatrician who did not detect any infections.  The Chester County dog attack victim suffered from some nightmares and a fear of dogs.  Attorney Newell suggested that she be treated by a mental health specialist.  Two visits to a child psychologist provided her with great relief.

Northampton County PA                        $ 71,107.48

A Bethlehem PA dog bite victim received a $71,107.48 settlement for her dog bite claim.  The Lehigh Valley resident was delivering mail in Northampton PA when the defendants’ boxer burst thru the front screen door and began to attack her.  The boxer bit the mail carrier at least twice on the leg.  Finally, the dog owner came out and got her boxer under control and took it inside.  Another of the negligent defendants’ dogs got loose and ran after the PA dog bite victim as she tried to seek refuge in her mail truck.

The Lehigh Valley dog bite victim was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown PA.  After her discharge, her leg began to swell and she exhibited symptoms of a possible infection.  Her family doctor was so concerned that the injury victim was sent back to Lehigh Valley Hospital where she was admitted and hospitalized for 3 days.  Multiple tests were performed and the Bethlehem dog bite victim was given a number of medications to help prevent the infection from spreading.

The dog bite wound sites healed but the Northampton County PA resident had complaints of pain, discoloration, numbness and a hardening of the hematomas in the areas of the dog bite wounds.  Nearly 20 physical therapy visits were needed to rehabilitate her leg.  She missed almost 3 months of work due to her injuries and still has occasional discomfort on damp/cold days.  Her Bethlehem PA dog bite lawyer obtained all of her medical records and relevant photos and, promptly negotiated a $71,107.48 payout.

Lehigh County PA                                     $ 61,000.00

An Allentown PA dog bite victim agreed to a $60,000.00 settlement after Attorney Thomas J. Newell had filed a lawsuit on 3/28/13 versus the negligent dog owners.  The woman had been walking a family friend’s Wheaten Terrier on a leash on East Clair Street in Allentown.  The defendants owned an American Bulldog/pit bull which was running loose, unrestrained and unsupervised in Allentown PA.

The vicious dog then attacked the small dog and placed its teeth around the terrier’s neck.  The Allentown PA dog attack victim tried to save her friend’s dog and in doing so, both of her hands were bitten by the bulldog/pit bull.  She sustained 8 dog bite wounds to her left hand and 3 dog bite wounds to her right hand.

The defendant’s homeowners insurance company representative had originally offered a small amount to resolve the claim.  Only after the Allentown PA dog bite attorney filed suit, did they offer the $60,000.00 settlement.  This is yet another example of how Attorney Newell aggressively represents his clients to maximize the value of their PA dog bite case.

Northumberland County, PA               $ 55,000.00

On 2/18/14, a $55,000.00 settlement was concluded for a Northumberland County PA dog bite claim.  A woman was attacked by a neighbor’s German Shepherd after the unleashed dog had escaped from its owners.  The severe hand laceration was treated with antibiotics and 3 stitches.  The PA dog bite victim missed approximately 6 weeks of work.

The German Shepherd owners plead guilty to 2 violations of the PA Dog Law and the PA Rabies Prevention & Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act. The vicious German Shepherd had attacked the victim’s 2 terriers prior to this unprovoked attack.  Attorney Newell successfully argued that this was a case that merited a punitive damage jury award.

Bucks County PA                                       $ 53,000.00

A Bucks County PA pit bull mauling resulted in a $53,000.00 settlement for a 13 year-old boy.  The victim was visiting his best friend in Hulmeville PA.  After he had entered the home, the unrestrained pit bull attacked him relentlessly.  The victim instinctively threw up his hands to protect his face.

The mother of the PA dog attack victim took her son to Doylestown Hospital.  ER doctors needed to use 9 stitches to treat the dog bite wounds.  Initial problems of numbness and tingling in his hands went away after 2 or 3 months.  Attorney Newell was happy to have settled the case for $53,000.00 without having to sue the mother of his client’s best friend.

Montgomery County PA                       $ 52,000.00

A Montgomery County PA dog bite case was settled with a $52,000.00 payout from the dog owners’ homeowner’s insurance company.  A 6 year old boy was invited into his friend’s home when a door was accidently opened and he was attacked by a Central Asian Shepherd.  The Hatfield resident was bitten in the right temple area and suffered some puncture wounds to his back.

The PA dog attack victim was rushed to Lansdale Hospital.  15 stitches were required to close the wounds to his head.  Due to his anxiety and apprehension interacting with dogs, the young boy was treated on 3 occasions by mental health professionals.

The Montgomery County Pennsylvania dog bite attorney proved that the defendants’ dog had prior vicious propensities and ultimately obtained a $52,000.00 settlement for his dog bite client.

Chester County, PA                               $ 47,879.00

In July of 2014, Chester County, PA dog bite injury attorney, Thomas J. Newell, Esq. received court permission to settle a Chester County dog attack claim for $47,879.00. A young boy was visiting his aunt’s house for a Christmas party when he was bitten in the face by her mixed breed dog.

The 2 year old boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where stitches were needed to treat the dog attack facial wounds. Fortunately, no further surgeries were needed for the Chester County, Pennsylvania dog attack victim. Your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer was able to obtain the settlement without having to sue the boy’s aunt.

Monroe County, PA                                 $42,500.00

In February of 2014, a Poconos dog bite claim was settled for $42,500.00. An older woman with a serious physical ailment was trying to walk two adult Akitas. The powerful dogs broke free from her and attacked a young woman who was walking her Golden Retriever on a leash. The Akitas only stopped their vicious attack when a young man interceded.

The Monroe County, PA dog attack victim was seen by the emergency room physician at Pocono Medical Center who used 6 stitches to treat the dog bite wounds to her left arm. The defendant dog owner was charged with multiple PA Dog Law violations, including harboring a dangerous dog.

Berks County, PA                                       $ 41,000.00

In August of 2015, your Berks County, PA dog attack lawyer received a $41,000.00 final dog bite claim settlement offer for a Berks County dog attack which took place in October of 2014. The Berks County dog bite victim was attacked by 2 unleashed dogs as he was walking on a street.

Attorney Newell proved that the owner of the pit bull and pit bull mix had been cited 4 months earlier by Dog Warden Edward Bunt for failing to confine their dogs in violation of Section 305 of the PA Dog Law.

Northampton County, PA                       $ 40,000.00

A Bethlehem PA dog bite victim obtained a $40,000.00 settlement after a dog attack.  She was walking on a sidewalk in Bethlehem when the Defendant walked by with his 2 dogs.  Unfortunately, the dogs were not under the control of the owner as required by the PA Dog Law and she suffered a bite to her face.

The Lehigh Valley resident was taken to a nearby hospital where stitches were used to close the facial laceration.  The Bethlehem Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained a $40,000.00 insurance settlement which was approved by the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, PA.

Northampton County PA                       $ 39,000.00

A Lehigh Valley PA dog bite settlement of $39,000.00 was agreed to after a pit bull attack in Northampton County Pennsylvania.  A woman took her Siberian Husky outside and put him on a lead.  The defendant’s pit bull and German Shepherd were running loose in the neighborhood in violation of the PA Dog Law.  The dogs came onto the Pennsylvania dog bite victim’s property and attacked her husky.

When the Northampton County PA resident couldn’t pull the dogs off her husky, she picked up her pet and tried to go inside her home.  The pit bull and German Shepherd then attacked her and her dog.  The PA dog bite victim suffered a broken finger and her dog needed numerous stitches to close the wounds.  The dog attack victim was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Bethlehem PA.  They placed her hand in a splint, gave her a Tetanus shot and cleaned her multiple cuts and abrasions.

Follow-up medical care for the fractured finger was provided by a Lehigh Valley orthopaedic office.  She was left with a small scar.  The dog bite victim also received psychological counseling for 6 months after the dog bite attack.  The Northampton County resident was having flashbacks and did not feel safe on her own property.  Once all of her medical and mental health care concluded, Attorney Newell negotiated with the defendant’s homeowner’s insurance company.  The Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained a $39,000.00 settlement for the personal injury victim.

Bucks County PA                                       $ 38,500.00

A Bucks County PA dog attack resulted in a $38,500.00 settlement for a 10 year old girl.  She and her family had visited her grandfather’s home in Levittown PA.  Her uncle owned a rottweiler and it was also present at the family gathering.  The rottweiler suddenly, and with provocation, mauled her 4 year old brother.

The young girl was traumatized by the Bucks County rottweiler attack and ultimately needed counseling from mental health professionals.  Attorney Thomas J. Newell filed a lawsuit on her behalf claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The defendants’ homeowners insurance company ultimately agreed to the $38,500.00 dog attack settlement amount.  The Bucks County Orphans’ Court approved the Minor’s Compromise Petition.

Bucks County PA                                        $37,500.00

A Bucks County PA dog bite victim received a $37,500.00 settlement after he was attacked by a pit bull in Bensalem PA. The gentleman was making a service call in Bensalem Township when the pit bull owner opened his front door and negligently allowed his unrestrained pit bull to run out of the home. The pit bull attacked the victim on the front steps.

The Perkasie PA pit bull attack victim fought off the vicious dog by hitting it with a rock. Ultimately, the pit bull owner got control of the dog and dragged it into the house. The Defendant was cited for numerous violations of the PA Dog Law. At a hearing before a District Justice in Bensalem PA, the pit bull owner was found guilty of failing to keep his dog under control and harboring a dangerous dog.

The Bucks County PA resident received medical care at a hospital in Lansdale. They cleaned the dog bite wounds to his abdomen, knee, leg and hand. The PA dog bite victim was given a rabies vaccination and antibiotics to prevent infection. Follow-up medical care was provided by a family doctor and hand specialist in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. Once his client’s medical care concluded, the Bucks County PA dog bite attorney negotiated a $37,500.00 payout to settle the personal injury claim.

Northampton County PA                        $ 36,000.00

Northampton County PA dog bite victim obtained a $36,000.00 settlement after she was attacked in the Lehigh Valley.  The Walnutport, PA resident was visiting her friend when a Chow jumped up and bit her face. The Chow continued the dog attack by chasing her down the hall, biting her leg and hand as she tried to escape into a bedroom.

Physicians at Palmerton Hospital used nearly 20 stitches to close the facial lacerations on the Northampton County, Pennsylvania dog bite victim.  Fortunately, they did an excellent job and her facial scar was so small that scar revision surgery was not needed.  While she was recuperating, Attorney Newell was investigating the claim against the Chow’s owners.  He interviewed the property manager of the private community where the homeowners lived.

Attorney Newell discovered that the Chow had attacked one of their family members a few months earlier. The property manager had instructed the homeowners to remove the dog from the community.  Unfortunately, they ignored her request and continued to harbor this dangerous dog in their home.

Since prior vicious propensities was now established, the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer negotiated a $36,000.00 payout for the Northampton County resident. Judge Edward G. Smith of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas approved the settlement request set forth in the Minor’s Compromise Petition.

Bucks County PA                                        $ 23,080.00

A Bucks County Pennsylvania dog attack case resulted in a $23,080.00 payout to a Chalfont PA woman.  She had been sitting on her front porch with 2 friends when a neighbor came over with her unleashed male Dalmatian.  The vicious dog initiated an unprovoked attack on the helpless victim.  Fortunately, she threw up her left arm to shield her face.

The Chalfont dog bite victim was left with a scar on her left arm.  Thankfully, the dog bite did not become infected.  A plastic surgeon examined the scar and decided that plastic surgery was not needed.  A neurologist evaluated her left arm and concluded that the symptoms of pins & needles would go away in time.  His analysis was correct and the victim did not miss any time from work.  Attorney Thomas J. Newell was pleased to have obtained the $23,080.00 settlement without having to file a lawsuit.

Carbon County PA                                      $ 22,880.00

A Carbon County PA dog bite victim obtained a $22,880.00 settlement after she was attacked by a German Shepherd in the Indian Mountain Lakes Community.  The teenager was walking on a pedestrian pathway when the German Shepherd lunged at her.  The Albrightsville PA dog attack victim instinctively put out her right arm to protect her face.

The vicious dog bit her right arm and wrist and the Pennsylvania dog bite victim was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital.  Her dog bite wounds were cleansed and she was injected with a rabies vaccine as it could not be determined whether the German Shepherd had been properly vaccinated.  She later endured 4 more rabies vaccine injections to ensure maximum protection.

Her Carbon County dog bite lawyer obtained a notarized affidavit from a prior victim attesting to the dog’s vicious propensities.  Senior Judge Webb of the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas approved the $22,880.00 dog bite settlement.

Bucks County PA                                          $ 22,000.00

A Bucks County PA dog bite victim received a $22,000.00 settlement after a dog attack in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.  A woman was conversing with a friend in her driveway when a Boston Terrier, which was running loose in the townhouse complex, bit her foot.  The dog owner did not have his dog under control as required by the PA Dog Law.

The Newportville PA resident received medical care at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne PA.  She received a tetanus shot.  The lacerated foot became infected.  The Pennsylvania dog bite victim received 2 iontophoretic injections of dexamethasone sodium phosphate.  She was left with a scar on her foot along the dorsal cutaneous nerve.  The Bucks County PA dog bite lawyer obtained a $22,000.00 settlement shortly after her medical care ended.

Luzerne County PA                                       $ 21,000.00

A Luzerne County PA dog bite case was settled by the Luzerne County dog bite lawyer for $21,000.00. On 2/4/14, a Drums PA resident was walking thru an Aldi’s parking lot in Hazleton when a Chinese Shar Pei jumped up and attacked her. The dog had been tied to the back bumper of an SUV in a busy public parking lot.

The Hazleton PA dog attack victim was treated for dog bite wounds to her hand and arm. Unfortunately, they became infected and she needed to take a variety of anti-infection medications and endure multiple ultrasounds. The Hazleton dog bite attorney convinced the defendant’s insurance carrier to pay the $21,000.00 without having to file a Pennsylvania dog attack lawsuit.

Please visit DOG BITE FAQ’s to read Attorney Newell’s answers to some frequently asked questions of Pennsylvania dog bite attack victims.

Montgomery County, PA                        $ 14,465.00

In July of 2015, your Montgomery County dog bite injury lawyer obtained a $14,465.00 payout for a Lansdale, Pennsylvania dog attack claim. The negligent pit bull mix owner had his dog on a 20′ leash which allowed it access to a nearby public alley.

The Lansdale, PA dog attack victim was bitten on the leg. This was the 6th documented unprovoked attack by this pit bull mix. The Montco dog attack attorney accompanied the Lansdale resident to a District Justice Hearing as a result of PA Dog Law charges being filed in the case.

Monroe County PA                                       $ 14,000.00

A Monroe County rottweiler attack victim received payments totaling $14,000.00 after his settlements were approved by a Monroe County Orphans’ Court judge.  The defendant’s rottweiler had bitten the boy 2 different times while he had been an invited guest at her home.  On each occasion, the rottweiler had gotten loose from its cage and bit the boy while he was playing basketball with the defendant’s children.

The rottweiler owner was convicted of multiple PA Dog Law violations by a local District Justice with the help of testimony from the Monroe County Dog Warden.  Her appeal of those charges was dismissed when she failed to appear for the non-jury trial in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.  The Minor’s Compromise Petitions were approved by Judge Williamson in September of 2013.

Bradford County, PA                                $ 12,500.00

A Bradford County, PA man was paid $12,500.00 for a dog bite settlement amount after he was attacked by a Great Dane in the fall of 2014. The gentleman was jogging on a street near his home when the unrestrained dog pursued and then bit him.

The physicians at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA gave him a tetanus shot and cleaned the dog bite wounds. Pennsylvania dog attack injury attorney, Thomas J. Newell, Esq. was hired in November of 2014 and obtained the $12,500.00 dog bite settlement award in February of 2015.

Lehigh County, PA                                     $ 11,000.00

An Allentown, PA dog bite victim was paid $11,000.00 after she was bit by a dog in the fall of 2014. The woman was delivering mail on her postal route in Allentown, PA when a dog pushed open a front door and attacked her. The mail carrier was bit on the leg by this aggressive dog and was immediately taken to a nearby Lehigh Valley area hospital.

Your Allentown, Pennsylvania dog bite attorney was hired in December of 2014 and obtained the $11,000.00 settlement just 2 ½ months later. The dog owners homeowners’ insurance company paid $1,000.00 for the dog bite victim’s medical bills and $10,000.00 for her pain and suffering legal claim.

Northampton County PA                           $ 7,500.00

In the spring of 2015, the Pennsylvania dog attack attorney obtained a $7,500.00 PA dog bite claim settlement for a Lehigh Valley dog attack victim after she was bitten by a mixed breed dog on May 25, 2014. The woman was jogging near her home in Bethlehem Pennsylvania when an unleashed and unsupervised vicious dog pursued and attacked her.

The Lehigh Valley dog bite victim was treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown PA. The ER doctors gave her a tetanus shot, antibiotics and cleaned the dog bite wound to her buttocks. The lawyer for dog bite claims in Pennsylvania emphasized to the dog owner’s insurance company that a failure to settle the PA dog attack case could open up the negligent dog owner to a PA dog bite lawsuit which could include a claim for punitive damages. Thereafter, the defense carrier promptly agreed to pay the dog attack settlement payout of $7,500.00

Bucks County PA

A Quakertown PA dog attack victim received a payout for her pain and suffering after she was bitten by an Australian Shepherd.  She had been invited to visit a friend’s home just outside of Quakertown.  As she was standing near her car, 2 large dogs that were running loose began to encircle her.  One of the Australian Shepherds attacked her and bit her on the left leg.

The Bucks County dog bite victim was taken to Quakertown Hospital where the puncture wounds and scratches were cleansed and treated with an antibiotic.  No stitches or staples were needed, nor was follow-up medical care required.  The Bucks County dog attack attorney was able to settle this personal injury claim in less than a year.

York County PA

A York County dog attack victim obtained a settlement after she was bitten at the John Rudy County Dog Park.  She was using the facility with her male neutered bulldog mix.  The defendant’s dog was a pug mixed breed that was unsupervised, aggressive and fighting with another dog.  The York resident’s dog tried to join in and she promptly separated her dog.

The Pennsylvania dog bite victim was kneeling down to attach a leash to her bulldog when the defendant’s pug attacked her from behind without any warning.  She was bitten several times on her right arm in the triceps/biceps area just above her elbow.  Neither the dog owner nor the dog owner’s friend came to her aid.  Attorney Newell was able to obtain a settlement of this York County dog bite case in just 4 months from when he was hired.

Northampton County PA

A Northampton County PA dog bite victim obtained a settlement after she was bitten by a boxer in Bethlehem PA.  The woman saw the defendant’s boxer on his property and asked if she could pet him.  The dog owner assured her the dog was friendly.  She petted the boxer and as she was standing up, it bit her in the face.

The Freemansburg PA resident was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital for dog bite wounds to her lip and nose.  She needed 3 stitches and was given antibiotics to prevent infection.  Her Lehigh Valley dog bite lawyer promptly obtained a settlement after her medical care had ended.

Montgomery County PA

A Montgomery County PA dog bite victim was attacked in Red Hill, PA by a neighbor’s Husky.  The young boy and his sister were invited to play with the neighbor’s dog.  Without any provocation, the Husky jumped up and attacked the Montgomery County resident.  He was taken to Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, PA.

Ten stitches were needed to close a laceration to his knee.  The young boy had nightmares and it was difficult for him to sleep for several weeks after the dog bite attack.  The family doctor monitored his condition and since there were no infections, he was released from any future medical care.   The Montgomery County Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained a personal injury settlement which was approved by Judge Ott of the Montgomery County Orphans Court.

Bucks County PA

A Quakertown PA dog bite victim was attacked while inside her veterinarian’s office.  She stopped to buy some cat food when a boxer bit her on the thigh.  Although the dog was on a leash, the boxer was not properly restrained by its owner.  Attorney Newell’s investigation led him to interview 2 witnesses who provided him with proof of prior vicious propensities.

The Bucks County PA dog bite victim received medical care at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital where she was given a tetanus shot.  Her family doctor in Plumsteadville PA provided her with follow-up medical care to ensure that no infection would develop.  Fortunately, the permanent scar on her thigh was very small and barely noticeable.

Initially, the Defendant’s homeowner’s insurance company denied responsibility for the PA dog bite victim’s injuries.  Attorney Newell’s work proved that the boxer was a dangerous dog and the Bucks County Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained a settlement offer which was happily accepted by the Quakertown PA resident.

Northampton County PA

A Northampton County PA dog bite victim was attacked by a dog that was running loose in Portland, PA.  The Emergency Room doctors at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg PA used sutures to repair the lacerations to his wrist.  The dog bite victim received physical therapy in the Pocono Mountains and was evaluated by a East Stroudsburg area neurologist.

The homeowner’s insurance company that insured the dog owners refused to make a fair settlement offer.  Therefore, Attorney Newell filed a lawsuit in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.  After written interrogatories were answered and depositions were taken, the Northampton County Pennsylvania dog bite attorney changed the insurance carrier’s position and settled the personal injury claim.

Bucks County PA

A Quakertown PA dog bite victim was walking on a farm when she was attacked without warning by a German Shepherd mix breed dog.  She suffered injuries to her arm, thumb, leg and low back.  The Bucks County Pennsylvania dog bite victim was treated at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital.  Sutures were used to close her lacerations and puncture wounds.  She was also given a tetanus shot.

After her medical care ended with her orthopaedic doctor and chiropractor, Attorney Newell ordered her medical records.  The Quakertown Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer obtained a settlement from the homeowner’s insurance company in just four months after the dog bite attack.

Monroe County PA

A Monroe County PA dog bite attack occurred when a young girl was playing in a friend’s backyard.  A neighbor’s dalmation was running loose and, without provocation, attacked her.  The Pocono Mountains resident was treated by a pediatrician from Pocono Lake, PA and evaluated by a plastic surgeon from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Pocono Mountains’s  dog bite victim was having nightmares, flashbacks and bedwetting episodes, so her parents took her to receive counseling from a Stroudsburg PA psychologist.  When the negligent dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company would not make a fair settlement offer, Attorney Newell filed a lawsuit in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.

During the litigation, the Monroe County Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer took the Depositions of the Dalmatian’s owners and eyewitnesses.  The dog attack victim’s case settled shortly thereafter.

Monroe County PA

A Tobyhanna PA dog bite victim was visiting a friend in Pocono Lake PA when she was bitten by a dog which was not under the control of its owner in violation of the PA Dog Law.  She was taken to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania.  The Monroe County PA dog bite victim sustained puncture wounds and abrasions.

Fortunately, no infections developed and she made a complete recovery from her injuries.  The Poconos PA dog bite attorney negotiated a settlement which was approved by the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.

Bucks County PA

A Quakertown Pennsylvania dog bite victim was walking on the sidewalk near her home when she was attacked by an Akita.  A small girl was walking this large dog and was unable to keep it under control.  The woman instinctively put up her arm to protect her face and was bitten on the right forearm.

The Bucks County PA dog bite victim was driven to St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital.  The wound was cleaned, she received a tetanus shot and was given antibiotics to help prevent infection.  She visited her Skippack PA family doctor who advised her to miss several weeks of work as a restaurant manager.  The Quakertown PA dog bite attorney negotiated a settlement with the Defendant’s homeowner’s insurance company which paid for her lost wages, medical bills and pain & suffering.

Lehigh County PA

A Lehigh County PA dog bite attack took place when a young boy was visiting at a relative’s home.  A neighbor’s German Shepherd got loose.  The dangerous dog knocked down the child and bit his leg and shoulder.  The Lehigh Valley dog bite victim was taken to the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Eight stitches were used to close the dog bite wounds.  A Lehigh Valley pediatrician provided follow-up medical care to ensure there was no infection.  This is yet another case that verifies the statistics from the Center for Disease Control – the majority of dog bite attack victims are children.  Once the child’s medical care ended, the Lehigh County Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer obtained the records and negotiated a settlement with the homeowner’s insurance company.

Please see Why Attorney Newell to read about his qualifications to serve as your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer.

Monroe County PA

A Poconos dog bite victim was attacked by a neighbor’s Rottweiler/Husky mix which came onto her property and began biting her dog. The woman tried to pull the dogs apart when she was bit on the hand by the mixed breed dog.  The Monroe County, PA dog bite victim was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton, PA.

Seven stitches were needed to close the dog bite wound and she was also given a tetanus shot. Her family doctor from Brodheadsville, PA monitored her condition to make sure her hand did not become infected.  The Monroe County Pennsylvania dog bite attorney was able to negotiate a settlement without having to file a lawsuit.

Lehigh County PA

An Allentown PA dog bite victim was attacked by a rottweiler when he was walking to his car.  He jumped onto the roof of his automobile in an attempt to elude the dangerous dog.  Unfortunately, the Lehigh County PA dog bite victim started to slip to the ground and the rottweiler jumped up and bit him.

The Allentown resident was only able to escape by throwing his shoes at the rottweiler.  Fortunately, the wounds were superficial and his Lehigh Valley physicians were most concerned with preventing infections.  The Allentown Pennsylvania dog bite attorney obtained the medical records and negotiated a settlement within 2 months of being hired.

Please go to CLIENT REVIEWS to obtain information regarding the experiences of over 50 of Attorney Newell’s former personal injury clients.

Bucks County PA

A Bucks County Pennsylvania dog bite attack occurred in a county park when a boy from North Wales PA was bitten by a mixed breed dog.  The child was taken to Doylestown Hospital where he received stitches for his facial wounds.  The Montgomery County PA dog bite victim was treated by a pediatrician in Lansdale PA and a plastic surgeon from Doylestown PA as a result of the bite to his face.

Once Attorney Newell was hired by the boy’s parents, he investigated the dog’s background.  Documents obtained from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement confirmed that the mixed breed dog had attacked others.  This information allowed the Bucks County PA dog bite lawyer to prove prior vicious propensities.  He obtained a recovery for the PA dog bite victim’s medical bills through the carrier’s medical payment coverage.

Carbon County PA

Carbon County Pennsylvania dog bite victim was injured when a neighbor’s dog ran onto her property and attacked her dog.  As she tried to pull the dogs apart, the Defendant’s dog bit her hand.

The Albrightsville PA dog bite victim was taken to Gnaden Heutten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton, PA. The hand laceration required 7 stitches to close.  The Carbon County PA dog bite attorney negotiated with the homeowner’s insurance company and obtained a settlement for the Albrightsville resident.

Please visit HOME for detailed information about the types of personal injury cases Attorney Newell accepts.

Northampton County PA

An East Stroudsburg PA dog bite victim was attacked by a pit bull in Bangor PA.  He was making a service call at a residence.  Unfortunately, the homeowner did not have her pit bull under control and it attacked the Monroe County resident without provocation.

The Poconos dog bite victim had his wrist lacerations sutured at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg.  Follow-up medical care was provided by specialists from Monroe County.  Soon thereafter, the Stroudsburg Pennsylvania dog bite attorney negotiated a settlement to be paid by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.

DISCLAIMER

The settlement value of each Pennsylvania dog bite claim varies.  Relevant factors include the age and specific injuries of the PA dog bite victim, violations of the PA Dog Law, prior vicious propensities and the amount of homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance coverage available.

Attorney Thomas Newell provides the content of this website for informational purposes only. Nothing provided in this website should be interpreted as being legal advice.  The laws regarding Pennsylvania dog bite claims are constantly evolving and changing. You are strongly advised to hire a dog bite lawyer licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania.

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PA Dog Bite
Legal Decisions

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Chester County PA Dog Attack

On 4/20/15, PA dog attack attorney, Thomas J. Newell received a telephone call regarding an unprovoked dog attack in Exton, Pennsylvania.  A salesman was talking to a potential customer when the man’s 2 unrestrained dog burst thru the front door and bit him on the thigh. He was given a tetanus shot and antibiotics at a Chester County medical facility.

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Strict Liability For MD Pit Bull Owners

An April 26, 2012 decision of the Court of Appeals of Maryland adopted the legal theory of strict liability in respect to attacks on humans by pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls.  In the case before the trial judge, a pit bull jumped over a 4′ high fence.  There was no overhanging ledge or other preventive measure to keep the dog from jumping out.  This had been the 2nd time the pit bull had escaped on that day.

The escaped pit bull attacked and mauled a young boy.  The dog bite victim sustained life threatening injuries.  Multiple surgeries were needed, including one to repair his femoral artery.  The young boy was hospitalized for 17 days and spent a year in rehabilitation.  The dog bite attorney sued both the pit bull owner and the landlord.

At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case at trial, the trial judge granted a judgment for the landlord.  He decreed that there was insufficient evidence to permit the issue of common law negligence to be presented to the jury.  The Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial court ruling.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland established a strict liability standard in respect to owning, harboring or controlling pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls.  When an owner or a landlord is proven to have knowledge of the presence of a pit bull or should have had such knowledge, a prima facie case is established.

The Appellate Court further ruled that it was not necessary that the pit bull’s owner or landlord have actual knowledge that the specific pit bull involved is dangerous.  Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous.  Tracey v. Solesky, No. 53, September Term 2011, April 26, 2012 J. Cathell.

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Failure To Confine Conviction Upheld By Superior Court

An October 5, 2011 decision of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a Trial Judge’s decision to find a dog owner guilty of failing to confine his dog in violation of the PA Dog Law.  The defendant did not have his Giant Schnauzer restrained with a leash or controlled via an electric fence collar.

The victim was walking his Bernese Mountain dog on the opposite side of the defendant’s home.  The Giant Schnauzer ran across the road and attacked the victim’s dog.  The police were called and cited the defendant for failure to confine his dog in violation of 3 P.S. Section 459-305(a)(1).  In a non-jury trial, the Chester County Trial Judge found the defendant guilty of the PA Dog Law.  He was sentenced to 6 months of non-reporting probation and a $500.00 fine.

The defendant appealed, claiming that there was no Mens Rea proven.  Mens Rea is a legal term meaning criminal intent.  Citing Boehr v. Commonwealth ex rel. Lower Merion Township, 414 A.2d 415 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980) and Commonwealth v. Glumac, 717 A.2d 572 (Pa. Super. 1998), the Superior Court held that the Commonwealth only had to prove that the dog owner had not confined his animal.  Scienter or ciminal intent is irrelevant.   “The mandate to confine a dog is thus stated absolutely and not in terms of reasonable care.”

In essence, there is strict liability on the part of a dog owner to keep his/her dog confined regardless of the circumstances.  Commonwealth v. Raban, 31 A.3d 699 (Pa. Super. 2011).

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Lehigh County Kennel Operator Guilty of Violating PA Dog Law

A Nov. 15, 2010 opinion of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania confirmed a decision of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to assess $167,900.00 in fines and penalties against a Lehigh County kennel operator.  Derbe Eckhart operated the “Almost Heaven Kennels” in Emaus PA.  The Department’s Bureau of Dog Enforcement had denied his request to renew his license to operate a boarding kennel which had been revoked in 2008.

The defendant was ordered to reduce the number of dogs at his location to 25.  A PA dog warden and a Bureau Supervisor later inspected the property and counted 348 dogs present on March 16, 2009.  Administrative fines and penalties were levied by the PA Department of Agriculture which were upheld by the Appeals Court.  Separately, Mr. Eckhart was found guilty of 2 animal cruelty counts by a Lehigh County jury in March of 2010.  Eckhart v. Department of Agriculture, 8 A.3d 401 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).

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Monroe County Dog Ownership Lawsuit Concluded

In an October 2010 legal opinion, a Monroe County Court of Common Pleas Judge has ruled that a dog should remain with its primary caretaker and not be returned to its owner.  In 2004, Alexa Dodgson was given a dog as a gift.  Over the next few years the woman occasionally lived with Kevin Walsh.  However, even when she resided elsewhere, the dog remained at the Walsh residence.

Monroe County trial testimony indicated that Dodgson took possession of the dog in early 2008 but returned it to Walsh around 30 days later.  Walsh testified that he informed Dodgson that he would only take the dog back if it was to remain with him permanently.  Dodgson later sued to have the dog returned to her.  Judge Zulick noted that Walsh was the exclusive custodian of the dog since February of 2008, that he was the one who took the dog to the vet and had also installed a dog run at his home.  Walsh testified that he had spent $4,000.00 on the dog since 2004.  Dodgson v Walsh, Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County PA (Oct. 2010 J. Zulick)

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Montgomery County PA Dog “Attack” Victim Loses Case

A June 24, 2010 legal opinion of Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Paul Tressler dismissed a dog “attack” victim’s case. A woman attended a Super Bowl party at a friend’s home. During the game, the defendant’s 98 lb. golden retriever was kept upstairs away from the guests. The dog owner did this as one of her friends had a fear of dogs.

During the halftime show, the defendant went upstairs to get the golden retriever in order to take it outside. When the defendant and her dog were going down the steps, they encountered the plaintiff and other guests dancing to the Rolling Stones halftime show. As the golden retriever jumped off the steps, it somehow collided with the plaintiff.

The dog’s tooth got caught inside the victim’s mouth. She immediately began to bleed and was taken to a local emergency room. The dog “attack” victim was ultimately diagnosed with suffering from permanent nerve damage. Her Pennsylvania dog bite attorney filed a lawsuit versus the dog owner. The trial judge granted the defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

Since there was no proof of prior vicious propensities and the incident occurred inside the defendant’s home, there was no violation of the PA Dog Law. The facts did not support a finding of failure to confine, nor of harboring a dangerous dog. Pennsylvania Law does not expose dog owners to a strict liability standard. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, this appears to be a situation that was truly an accident with no negligence on the part of the dog owner. Slack v. Krail, Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery Co. PA No. 07-23620 (June 24, 2010 J. Tressler)

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SPCA Not Immune From Liability

A Dec. 2009 legal opinion of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania permitted a dog owner to successfully sue the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).  The dog owner filed a lawsuit versus the SPCA in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seeking damages for civil rights violations, trespass, conversion and negligence.  The SPCA had euthanized her dogs and the dog owner claimed that the SPCA had no legal ability to destroy her dogs.

After the Philadelphia jury rendered a verdict in favor of the dog owner, the SPCA appealed claiming it was immune from suit due to either sovereign immunity or local immunity.  The SPCA elects it own officers and directors, manages its own affairs and adopts its own bylaws.  Neither the Commonwealth nor Philadelphia County makes direct payments to the SPCA from taxpayers’ funds.  Lastly, there is no state law classifying the SPCA as a state or local government agency.  For these reasons, the PA Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the Philadelphia Trial Judge and Pennsylvania Superior Court.  Snead v. SPCA of Pennsylvania, 985 A.2d 909 (Pa. 2009)

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One-Free-Bite Defense Not Valid in Pennsylvania

A 2008 ruling by the PA Superior Court advanced the rights of Pennsylvania dog bite attack victims. Two pit bulls owned by a renter got loose and attacked a young girl and two good Samaritans who tried to rescue her. All three PA dog bite victims filed lawsuits in Allegheny County against the owner of the pit bulls and the landlord. At trial, the dog owner’s attorney claimed that since the dog bite victims could not prove prior vicious propensities, his client was entitled to ‘one-free-bite.’

The Pennsylvania dog bite attorneys representing the victims successfully argued that the 1996 Amendments to the PA Dog Law removed any possible one-free-bite defense. The trial judge ruled that the jury could consider all of the facts of that attack to determine whether the pit bulls had violent propensities. The jury entered damage verdicts against both the tenant and the landlord.

The defense lawyers filed an appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. The Appeals Court agreed with the PA dog bite victims that the one-free-bite defense does not exist anymore in PA. It further stated that in order for a landlord to be held liable for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog, the victim must prove that the landlord knew of the dog’s presence on the property and its violent propensities prior to the PA dog bite attack. Underwood Ex Rel. Underwood v. Wind, 954 A.2d 1199 (Pa. Super. 2008)

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Community Assoc. Not Liable for Carbon County Dog Attack

A 2008 decision of the PA Commonwealth Court clarifies the PA Dog Law. A Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania dog bite victim was attacked by his neighbor’s pit bulls which were running loose in the development. The pit bulls bit the Carbon County resident while he was standing in his driveway.

His Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer filed a lawsuit in the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas against the dogs’ owners and the Community Association for the private residential community. He alleged that there had been prior complaints to the Association regarding the dogs’ aggressive behavior which was ‘terrorizing’ the community.

Judge Roger Nanovic agreed with the Association’s lawyers that their client had no legal responsibility for the attack since the Association could not remove the dogs, confine the canines or take control of the dog owners’ property. The PA dog bite attorney appealed the case to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania who agreed with the Carbon County Trial Judge.

The Appeals Court stated that only the PA Secretary of Agriculture has the power to enforce the PA Dog Law. Since the Community Association could not evict the dog owners or force them to abide by the PA Dog Law, the PA dog bite victim had no legal claim against it. McMahon v. Pleasant Valley West Ass’n, 952 A.2d 731 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2008)

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Non-Owner Guilty of Failure to Confine & Harboring Dangerous Dogs

A 2007 ruling by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a Berks County Court of Common Pleas conviction of violations of the PA Dog Law.  The Berks County dog bite victim was attacked on her property by a neighbor’s 2 pit bulls.  She was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries to her hands and legs.  The neighbor was charged with failure to confine the pit bulls and harboring dangerous dogs.

The Defendant’s defense was that her sons actually owned the pit bulls and that there was no proof the dogs had attacked others before this incident.  The Trial Court noted that the Defendant permitted the pit bulls to remain on her property for several years and she helped care for them.  These actions met the definition of ‘Owner’ in Section 102 of the PA Dog Law.  Therefore, she was guilty of violating Section 305 in that she failed to keep the pit bulls confined within her home, firmly secured by a collar & chain or under the reasonable control of a person.

The Appeals Court confirmed that the Defendant did harbor dangerous dogs as all 3 elements of Section 502 of the PA Dog Law were met.  The property owner met the definition of dog owner.  The pit bulls did attack a human being without provocation.  Lastly, the facts of the attack permitted the fact finder to rule that the pit bulls evidenced a propensity to attack human beings without provocation.  It was not necessary to prove that the injuries sustained were severe or that there were prior attacks.  Commonwealth v. Seyler, 929 A.2d 262 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2007)

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Definition of ‘Owner’ Expanded Under PA Dog Law

A 2006 legal decision of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania confirmed the broad scope of the word ‘owner’ as defined by the PA Dog Law.  The Defendant was charged with multiple violations of the PA Dog Law even though she was not the registered owner.  Trial evidence proved that she was feeding and caring for the dogs and permitted them to remain on property where she lived.

Even though she did not own the dogs and nor did she own the property they were on, the court ruled that the Defendant met the definition of owner as stated in Section 102 of the PA Dog Law since she ‘kept or harbored’ the dogs on the premises she occupied.  Commonwealth v. Lopez, 908 A.2d 901 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006)

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First Bite Results in Conviction of Harboring Dangerous Dog

The Commonwealth Court of PA affirmed a Westmoreland County Common Pleas decision affirming a conviction of harboring a dangerous dog.  A woman was walking on the rear section of her property when the defendant’s dog lunged at her, bit her leg & knocked her to the ground. The dog bite victim picked up a pipe and brandished it at the dog to prevent a second attack. Medical care was needed to treat the puncture wounds. The Westmoreland County Dog Warden cited the defendant for harboring a dangerous dog in violation of Section 502-A of the PA Dog Law.

Proof of prior attacks was deemed to be unnecessary. The evidence proved that the dog attacked a human being without provocation resulting in an injury to the victim. Nothing in Section 502-A of the PA Dog Law requires the injury to be severe. The facts of this attack allowed the trial judge to properly deduce that the dog had a propensity to attack human beings. Commonwealth v. Austin, 846 A.2d 798 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004)

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Local Gov’t Immune From Suit After Pit Bull Attack

A decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court granted a Motion for Summary Judgment for Upper Darby Township after it had been sued by a pit bull attack victim.  A young boy was visiting some friends when their pit bull attacked him resulting in facial lacerations which required surgery.  The pit bull had previously attacked 3 other individuals and the Township’s sole action was to quarantine the dog once.

The PA dog bite attorney sued the Township alleging that it had failed to comply with the PA Dog Law in that it had not destroyed the pit bull after the 3 prior attacks.  The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas dismissed the lawsuit.  Upper Darby Twp. was immune from liability due to the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.  The Appeals Court noted in its affirmation that the Secretary of Agriculture, not the Township, is charged with the enforcement of the PA Dog Law.  Lastly, since the Township did not have possession or control over the pit bull, there was no exception to the local government immunity.  Lerro ex rel. Lerro v. Upper Darby Twp., 798 A.2d 817 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002)