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Unrestrained dog attacks Chicago boy playing at home

In a recent post, we discussed the potential financial recovery that dog bite victims may obtain against negligent dog owners. However, another recent dog attack may remind some Illinois readers about the extent to which dog owners are advised to safeguard the property in order to insulate themselves against premises liability lawsuits.

At the time of the dog attack, a nine-year-old boy had been playing in the yard outside his family’s Roseland home. Although a neighboring dog owner had fenced property, the dog apparently cleared the fence by jumping on a table, and from that height, into the boy’s yard.

The dog bit the boy in his arms and legs multiple times. In fact, a witness to the incident had to pull the dog off the boy. That behavior prompted authorities to test the dog for rabies at a local animal care center. Unfortunately, the owner may not have kept the dog’s rabies vaccination current, and authorities cited the owner on that ground. In addition, the owner received additional citations for not obtaining a license for the dog and failing to restrain it.

The personal injuries sustained by the boy were severe enough to require plastic surgery. Fortunately, his doctors are hopeful for a full recovery.

Although local authorities issues only citations to the dog owner, the boy’ family may have additional claims to bring. For example, a personal injury suit might question whether the owner was negligent, and the dog bite attack preventable. The table may have been placed too close to the fence border. In addition, the dog may have running around unrestrained in the neighbor’s yard.

Source: chicagotribune.com, “Boy seriously injured in dog attack on Far South Side,” Deanese Williams-Harris, May 20, 2013

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