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    Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360
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    Perkasie, Pennsylvania 18944
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    Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104
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    Easton, Pennsylvania 18042
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    Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
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    Lehighton, Pennsylvania 18235
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Surviving a Dog Attack

WHP – CBS21 News Harrisburg, PA 11/10/14

An epidemic that changes a victim’s life while costing taxpayers millions. Newell said half his calls involve dogs owned by uninsured renters. And the majority of victims, children and the elderly, are on government subsidized healthcare. Meaning taxpayers are stuck with the hospital bills.

And the victims are victimized again, Newell said.

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Life-altering dog bite for little girl

Pocono Record 08/15/14

Newell said the description of the attack appears to fit the law for a conviction of harboring a dangerous dog. A conviction would mean a fine and registration requirements, as well as insurance and muzzling.

People are too willing to dismiss breeding, while acknowledging the part it plays in the personalities and tendencies of every other breed, he said. More than half of the calls he receives on severe bites are for pit bulls.

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Biteless Prior Incident Enough for Punitives Claim in Dog-Bite Case

The Legal Intelligencer 7/22/14

“It really talked about three separate ways of recovery that in my view had not been granted previously,” Newell said. “This gives much greater viability to our claims, and if there’s greater exposure to punitive damages, that has to cause an insurance company to think twice before taking a hard line.”

Bitting sought punitive damages based on Dog Law Section 459-102, and argued that the word “attack” did not require the dogs to have previously bitten a person, but only required that the dogs had previously pursued someone to establish notice of a vicious propensity, Newell said.

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Attorney says judge’s decision in dog bite case set precedent for victims

Fox43 News 7/11/14

Newell said the broader issue is how dog attacks are affecting taxpayers. He said a majority of dog bite victims that he sees are children, who often are on CHIP, or government-funded insurance. Often times, Newell said, the owner of the dog does not have insurance to cover the injuries, so the burden falls on taxpayers. “If you want to freedom to own a dog, which we all love, then with that comes an immense responsibility to act responsibility,” said Newell.

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Judge allows multiple theories for punitive damages by dog bite victim

The Pennsylvania Record 7/11/14

“I am unaware of any prior court decisions allowing a dog bite victim to pursue punitive damages via multiple legal theories,” said Newell in a statement. “Equally important is my belief that this is the first Pennsylvania legal opinion that allows a dog bite victim to pursue a punitive damage claim without proof of any prior or subsequent physical attack upon another person or animal.”

According to court documents, FedEx delivery person Mandy Bitting entered the property of Clifford Schaffner on Nov. 21, 2012, to drop off a package at the front door, per company policy. Three adult boxers were not visible when Bitting entered the property, but they allegedly came out of nowhere and began attacking and biting her, the lawsuit says. They only stopped when Schaffner called and restrained them.

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Freemansburg dog bite victim says Pennsylvania dog laws don’t do enough

Lehigh Valley Live 3/16/2014

Both Pfeiffer and Thomas Newell, a Bucks County attorney whose law practice focuses on representing dog bite victims, said even when dogs aren’t confiscated, their owners often get rid of them if they’re deemed a dangerous dog in Pennsylvania or a so-called potentially dangerous dog in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania also requires that signs be posted, a $500 annual fee be paid, as well as liability insurance coverage up to $50,000, Newell said.

“It’s very strenuous,” he said. “The dog is often put down for financial reasons or liability reasons or fear that the dog will bite again.”

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Central Pa. man sued by deliverwoman over dog attack that allegedly left plaintiff physically and psychologically injured

Pennsylvania Record 12/31/2013

In his suit, Newell, Bitting’s attorney, claims his client, who sustained numerous lacerations and dog bite puncture wounds, had to have a tetanus vaccine following the incident.

Newell also alleges that the defendant’s dogs were not currently vaccinated against the rabies virus, which is required under Pennsylvania law.

The suit states that the defendant was found guilty in early 2013 of violating the Pennsylvania Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act, which shows he is guilty of negligence per se and is “legally responsible for the Plaintiffs’ injuries as identified in this Complaint.”

In a statement, Newell said that the Bitting incident could have “easily been avoided had the Defendant complied with the requirements of Pennsylvania Law as the vast majority of responsible dog owners do each and every day here in Pennsylvania.”

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Family of Young Pa. Girl Who Lost Portion of Nose in Dog Attack Secures $300K Settlement

Pennsylvania Record 11/15/2013

The local police chief was able to save the nose, and the girl was transported to a hospital in Maryland for surgery, according to Thomas J. Newell, the Bucks County lawyer who represented the plaintiffs.

Newell said the plaintiffs would receive a total of $287,650 after attorney’s fees, medical expenses and subrogation costs are taken care of.

He said a structured settlement annuity would be set up whereby the young girl would receive that money in payments given out over a four-year period beginning when she turns 18.

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Montco Lawyer Wins $300,000 For Dog Bite Victim

The Mercury News 11/8/2013

After lawyer’s fees and medical expenses, the victim will receive $287,650. Newell said he was happy he was able to reach a settlement with the insurance company. “My clients preferred having the insurance company pay rather than make their neighbors pay the costs out of pocket,” he said.

The sum is to be paid over the course of four years, starting when the victim is 18, with the last payment to be made when she is 21. She is 9 years old now. “The hope was not to give it to her now so the money will be able to help her pay for college,” Newell said.

This was not the first case Newell has done involving animal attacks. “About two thirds of my cases are related to dog bites,” Newell said.

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Fairfield Dog-Bite Victim Gets Settlement

The Evening Sun 11/8/2013

Brooke-Ann Boyd was attacked by the dog in April 2011 when she walked to a neighbor’s house to play with a friend, according to court filings. After the girl was told to just let herself in, the dog, Chaos, pushed through the front door and attacked her on the front porch.

Newell has represented many other dog-bite cases, including Ajia Brown, an 8-year-old who was attacked by two pit bulls in Hanover in 2010. The dogs ripped off a portion of Ajia’s scalp and pieces of both of his ears. The case was settled in October 2012 and Ajia was awarded $508,613 by Travelers Insurance, the insurance company representing the dog owner.

The Boyds read about Ajia’s case and felt it necessary to bring Newell into Brooke-Ann’s case, the lawyer said.

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Dog Bite Victim Will Receive Settlement

The Gettysburg Times 11/7/2013

“She has been through a lot and the thought is that this will cover her college expenses,” Newell said earlier this week. “My clients are extremely happy and I think equally important is that not a penny will be paid out of the pocket of the Sprouse family. Their insurance company has stepped up to the plate and agreed to cover this amount. We’re considering this is a win-win.”

“Of the $300,000, the family will net $287,650,” Newell said.

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Worcester Lawyer Wins Dog Bite Victim $300,000

The Times Herald 11/11/2013

WORCESTER — A civil attorney who concentrates in dog attack cases announced Wednesday he has secured a $300,000 settlement in connection with a pit bull attack in Gettysburg.

Attorney Thomas Newell, 57, of Worcester, says that on April 13, 2011, a 6-year-old girl went to her friend’s house in Fairfield, and as she was opening the door, the dog jumped out and bit off a portion of her nose. Surgeons were able to re-attach the nose, although the girl went through 23, two-hour sessions in a hyperbaric chamber, which is supposed to help grow the skin tissue back.

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Pit Bull Owner To Fight Charge Stemming
From Salisbury Township Mauling

The Express Times 2/25/2013

“Donations can be made at Wells Fargo Bank, Mountainville Financial Center, 1901 S. Fourth St. Allentown, PA., 18103.  Checks should be made payable to “Tammie Jesberger/Oreo.”  Oreo suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, including a torn throat and a broken jaw, Jesberger’s attorney Thomas Newell said.  The cockapoo required emergency surgery and is slated to undergo a second operation today, Jesberger said.

Oreo’s vet bills are edging toward $4,000.  Jesberger is hopeful the community will come to her aid by making donations to a Wells Fargo Bank account, Newell said.  The attorney exchanged emails with Howard, who indicated he does not have renter’s insurance and that his landlord’s insurer had rejected a claim he filed for the attack.”

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2-Year-Old Monroe County Dog Bite Victim
Wins $135,000 Settlement

The Pocono Record 12/7/2011

“A Kunkletown woman recently won a $135,255.27 settlement after her 2-year-old daughter was bitten in the face by a loose dog in April 2010, Perkasie attorney Thomas Newell said.

The woman dropped her daughter off for babysitting at her sister’s Albrightsville home. She was told her sister’s mixed-breed dog, which had been aggressive in the past, would be secured, Newell said.

Someone let the dog loose and it bit the 2-year-old. An Easton plastic surgeon gave the girl six facial injections and about 40 facial stitches at Pocono Medical Center, Newell said.

Newell said he got Monroe County Courty permission to accept the structured settlement from the girl’s aunt’s homeowner insurance company.”

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Schuylkill County Pitbull Attacks
Elicit Mixed Views From Government Officials

The Republican Herald 7/8/2011

Thomas J. Newell, Perkasie, a layer who handles dog bite case across Pennsylvania, said the state, not municipalities, should act to restrict put bulls.

Newell said the breed is the problem.

“The problem is pit bulls. They are attacking the young and old,” Newell said.

Pennsylvania law already restricts dogs that have been determined by a court to be dangerous, requiring owners of such canines to post signs, fence their properties, put muzzles on their dogs and carry insurance, Newell said. A local law cannot contradict that by restricting a specific breed.”

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York County Pitbull Owner
Found Guilty Of PA Dog Law Charges

The Evening Sun 7/14/2010

Thomas Newell, who is handling the personal-injury claims of Brown and her son, said later Tuesday that his client’s main reasons for making the six-hour drive to Hanover for the trial were to stand up for her son, and to do what she could to make sure this type of attack doesn’t happen again

Newell said some of the Littles’ neighbors have expressed their concerns about bringing their own grandchildren to the neighborhood because of the dog.”

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Lansdale Pitbull Mauling Victim
May Be Denied Compensation

The Reporter 1/20/2010

Thomas Newell, a personal injury lawyer who specializes in cases involving dog bites, car accidents, and slip and falls, said that under state dog law, since the attack occurred inside a home and the dog was confined, there is no violation.

He said a lawsuit could be viable, depending on the outcome of three avenues.

If Votta is proven not to have renter’s insurance, then the fault falls on the property owner.

If it can be proven that the property owner knew there were prior vicious acts of the dog and did nothing to remedy it, then fault is on the property owner.

However, if the owner did not have knowledge, then the argument falls on what exclusions are on the insurance contract for the property that exclude tenant-related negligent acts.

“If the victim comes to me and all three avenues are exhausted – there’s no insurance for the owner, the landlord had no prior knowledge and there is an exclusion on the insurance for the property excluding negligent acts on the property, there’s nothing I can do,” Newell said.”

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