Injury sustained by dog bite.
The plaintiff in this case suffered horrific injuries from a pit bull terrier while visiting her friend’s house. The dog was under the control of the friend’s parents whom the plaintiff sued for negligence and breach of statutory duty under the Control of Dogs Act.
The plaintiff was in her friend’s bedroom when the dog entered the room. The dog jumped onto the bed where the plaintiff was sitting with her friend. The dog nipped the plaintiff’s back whereupon the plaintiff became hysterical and pleaded that the dog be taken out. The dog was held back while the plaintiff made her way to the door and placed her hand on the door handle. At this point the dog lunged forward and latched onto her arm. The dog had a chunk of the plaintiff’s flesh in its mouth. The plaintiff suffered greatly having to have surgery and being unable to wear tops thereby exposing the wound.
The judge awarded the plaintiff a total of €121,917 being €65,000 the maximum the court could award for general damages; €45,000 for the scarring and phobic anxiety about some dogs and the balance by way of special damages.
Dog owners will be held responsible for unprovoked attacks by their dogs and should take every precaution that their dogs are kept under control. Dogs with a reputation for aggression should be muzzled to avoid incidents like this from arising.
Killian v Kilduff  IEHC 340