Archive for September, 2010

Dangerous Dog Conviction for Bucks County Pit Bull Owner

Posted on: September 28th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

On September 17, 2010, a Bensalem PA pit bull owner was found guilty of harboring a dangerous dog and failure to confine his pit bull in violation of the PA Dog Law.  On April 23, 2010, an employee of a propane delivery company was given instructions to deliver propane to a home on Byberry Road in Bucks County which had requested the service.

As a Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer, I am amazed that the pit bull owner came to the front door and opened the door to speak with the delivery man without restraining his pit bull.  Unfortunately, the dog ran out the door and attacked the Perkasie resident.  The Bucks County dog bite victim grabbed a rock and hit the pit bull to stop the attack.

Finally, the pit bull owner grabbed the pit bull and pulled him back into the home.  The PA dog bite victim sustained injuries to his leg, hand and side.  He received medical care at Lansdale Hospital where they gave the dog bite victim a tetanus shot and antibiotics.  He later experienced a numb sensation in his leg where he was bitten.  Physical therapy for his hand was provided.

At the September Hearing before District Justice Leonard J. Brown, your Pennsylvania dog bite attorney was present when both the PA dog bite victim and the pit bull owner testified.  There was no dispute that this was an unprovoked attack.  If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Pennsylvania, I suggest you telephone me at 800-980-4842.  I provide a free home consultation.  You can also contact me by way of my website at

Pit Bull, With History of Being Chained 24/7, Mauls Pittsburgh Bicyclist

Posted on: September 24th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Aug. 27, 2010, an 11 year-old girl was playing with her friends in a Pittsburgh cemetery.  As she was riding her bicycle, a pit bull jumped a chain link fence and viciously mauled her.  According to an eyewitness, he saw the girl’s face in the pit bull’s mouth as he was swinging her about.  The Good Samaritan grabbed a baseball bat and fought off the pit bull which caused it to release its grip on the dog bite victim.

As is all too familiar to your PA dog bite attorney, this vicious and aggressive pit bull had a history of being chained.  In a KDKA News video, the pit bull owner claimed the dog was routinely chained “24/7”.   Just prior to this attack, the dog’s chain had been removed and it was allowed to run free in its fenced-in backyard.  KDKA further reported that the dog had a history of attacking other dogs and at least 1 other human.

The PA dog bite victim had wounds to her face, wrists and arms and was taken to a local hospital.  Eyewitnesses said that she was dragged 40 to 50 feet from the bicycle by the pit bull.  After the dog bite attack, the 3 1/2 year old pit bull was put down at the request of its owner.  Your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer argues that dogs that are routinely chained become significantly more aggressive than dogs that are permitted to naturally socialize with human beings and other dogs.  Vicious propensities in dogs are only exacerbated by tethering!

More information on tethering/chaining can be found at  If you are in need of legal representation as a result of a dog bite attack, please telephone me for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842.  You can also reach me via my website at

Can New Median Barriers Save PA Car Crash Victims’ Lives?

Posted on: September 20th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Fatal car accidents occur far too frequently on Route 22, Route 33, I-80 and I-78.  PennDOT officials are reviewing the various types of median barriers necessary to protect the driving public.  Your Pennsylvania car accident lawyer commends Dan Hartzell of The Morning Call for an excellent September 13, 2010 article on this important topic.  On highways where adjacent lanes of travel are right next to each other, concrete barriers are used to prevent vehicles from crashing into oncoming traffic.

However, as Mr. Hartzell points out, “New Jersey” barriers have no “give”.  They can cause serious injuries to those inside the striking car.  The concrete barriers can also deflect a striking motor vehicle back into the travel lane adding to the potential of another car wreck.  Route 22 and the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike currently use concrete barriers extensively.

A new type of cable median barrier (CMB) will be installed by PennDOT on I-78 beginning next summer.  This type of barrier is designed to slow down errant vehicles to prevent crashes with oncoming traffic.  The CMBs are designed to have enough “give” to lessen the force of the impact on the occupants of the striking vehicle.  The cable median barriers should also reduce the “rebound effect” which could put a car back into harm’s way on the highway.

Your PA auto accident attorney has observed the recent installation of CMBs on Route 422 which has a lengthy history of fatal cross-over crashes.  Large grass medians alone are not sufficient to prevent vehicles from crashing into oncoming traffic.  Hopefully, PennDOT will install cable median barriers on all sections of our superhighways which are currently unprotected.

If you have been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania car crash, please contact Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation.  He can be reached by phone at 800-980-4842 or via the internet at  Attorney Newell has been representing PA car accident victims since 1981.

Tethered Pit Bull Mauls PA Dog Bite Victim

Posted on: September 15th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

On Sept. 4, 2010, a six year old girl from McKeesport PA was severely injured as a result of a pit bull attack.  As described on The Pittsburgh Channel, a neighbor’s pit bull broke loose from its outdoor chain, jumped a fence and mauled the young girl as she was playing in her own backyard.  Your PA dog bite lawyer had written an Aug. 26, 2010 blog encouraging Pennsylvania politicians to pass an anti-tethering bill this year.

Since chained dogs are nearly 3 times more likely to attack than those that have not been tethered, dog owners who chain their pets are putting innocent people at risk.  What parent would think that their child would be nearly killed while playing in their own fenced-in backyard?  Fortunately, an adult family member was able to pull the pit bull off the young girl and she was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Allegheny County.

The PA dog bite victim was in surgery for more than 2 hours to repair her head wounds.  Her grandmother said the dog attack was so severe that the young girl was nearly scalped.  As a Pennsylvania dog bite attorney, I can say that the dog owner made a prudent decision to put the pit bull down after this vicious dog attack.  The victim’s family has also decided to erect a tall fence around their backyard since the defendant owns another dog.

Attorney Thomas Newell strongly believes that chaining dogs makes them more aggressive and helps to cause unprovoked PA dog bite attacks.  For anti-tethering information I suggest that you visit www.  If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries due to a dog bite, please call me for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842.  You may also email me thru my website at  I represent Pennsylvania dog bite victims – never insurance companies!

Pit Bull Owner’s Negligence Causes Lansdale, PA Pit Bull Attack

Posted on: September 9th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

A Bucks County PA pit bull attack victim was mauled in Lansdale PA in January of 2010 due to the inexcusable negligence of a pit bull owner.  Three woman in their early 20’s had gone to high school together and planned a “girls night out” for a Friday evening.  The Perkasie resident picked up one of her friends from Sellersville and was scheduled to arrive on time to pick up her former classmate in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

The 2 woman from Bucks County placed a call on their way to Lansdale to confirm directions.  Your Pennsylvania dog bite attorney points out that the pit bull owner knew that 2 people who were strangers to her dog were on their way to pick her up.  A responsible pit bull owner would have chosen either of these 2 options:  be at the front of the apartment ready to go when her ride arrived or, have the pit bull secured in a crate or closed room to prevent any interaction with a stranger in its home.

Instead, the pit bull owner wasn’t ready when the Bucks County women arrived and her pit bull was running around in her apartment without any restrictions.  To make matters worse, the dog owner NEVER TOLD her friends that she had a pit bull in the apartment!  When the Perkasie resident arrived, she knocked on the door several times.  The pit bull owner did not greet her friend nor did she give any response to the knocking.

The Bucks County resident then opened the door to yell into the apartment to let her friend know she was there.  As she announced her arrival, the pit bull barged thru the front door and attacked the woman as she stood on the porch.  Your PA dog bite lawyer must sadly report that the pit bull viciously bit her face.  She was first taken to Lansdale Hospital, then transferred to Abington Hospital where a plastic surgeon operated on her.  Lacerations to the dog bite victim’s face required approximately 70 stitches to close.

Attorney Thomas Newell was hired to represent the Bucks County PA dog bite attack victim.  Information obtained from the Montgomery County PA Health Department did confirm that the pit bull was up to date with its vaccination shots.  Unfortunately, the pit bull owner had never paid for any renters insurance so she did not have any insurance coverage to pay for the dog bite victim’s past or future medical bills or provide compensation for her permanent facial scars.

The landlords did not live at the apartment.  The dog owner admitted that the property owners had no knowledge of any past attacks or vicious propensities regarding her pit bull.  The landlords correctly argued that they  had no legal responsibility for the dog attack.  They didn’t own the pit bull.  They did not exercise any control over the dog, nor have any knowledge of any past violations of the PA Dog Law.  The responsibility for this Pennsylvania dog bite attack rests solely on the pit bull owner – a young woman who rents, has no insurance coverage and little to no money to her name.

If you have been attacked by a vicious dog, I suggest you contact me, Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation.  Please call 800-980-4842 or contact me via my website  I represent dog bite victims throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.  I will thoroughly review all the facts concerning your PA dog bite attack and pursue all possible avenues of applicable liability insurance coverage.

Can Pennsylvania Reduce Motorcycle Accident Deaths?

Posted on: September 2nd, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Seemingly every week we read about motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania causing riders’ deaths.  The June 27, 2010 motorcycle-car accident which took the lives of 5 motorcycle riders in Lancaster received much publicity.  What steps are being taken by governmental officials and concerned citizens to stem the tide of this epidemic of ‘cycle fatal crashes?  Your Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney has reviewed articles which address this issue.

Information on Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Programs can be found at  There are free courses designed for both novice and experienced riders.  PennDOT is promoting a motorcycle safety program called “Live Free, Ride Alive” which strongly advocates the use of helmets by bikers.  The summer months account for the highest number of motorcycle accidents, with July having the highest monthly total.

A July 15, 2010 article by Cindy Stauffer of stated that 14 motorcycle riders had died in Lancaster County in the first 6-1/2 months of the year.  Chuck Becker is president of the Lancaster-Lebanon Liberty Riders, a chapter of Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE).  He promotes 2 different methods of cycle-driver education.  One is the distribution of motorcycle yard signs which encourage drivers to “look twice, save a life.”  He also recommends that motorcycle riders slow down and plan evasive action when they see a motorist stopped at an intersection/driveway waiting to pull out.

An August 30, 2010 report by Amanda Dolasinski of The York Dispatch notes that the 9 motorcycle fatalities in York County in 2010 match the total of bikers’ deaths in all of 2009.  Six of the 9 riders were not wearing helmets.  A University of Pittsburgh study states that there has been a rapid rise in the number of motorcycle related head injury hospitalizations since Pennsylvania’s repeal of mandatory biker helmet laws.  While your PA motorcycle accident lawyer strongly supports the use of helmets by motorcycle riders, the general public can help reduce the number of motorcycle accidents by being more vigilant in making sure there are no ‘cycles on the road when they pull out from a side street or driveway.

ABATE has distributed approximately 14,000 yellow yard signs that are designed to remind motorists of the presence of motorcycles on PA highways.  In York County, the director of the Center for Traffic Safety is forming a committee designed to promote motorcycle safety and awareness.  Motorcycle clubs, dealers & repair shops will be represented on this committee.  For more information on motorcycle safety issues, I suggest you visit websites such as and

If you or a family member has been injured in a PA motorcycle crash, please contact me, Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at  I represent seriously injured motorcycle accident victims in Pennsylvania.