Dog Warden May Be Sued for Fatal Dog Bite Incident

- Samuel Kane

A county dog warden is facing a wrongful death case for a dog bite incident in Ohio sometime in 2014. The local trial court initially dismissed the lawsuit after the defendant warden argued that he did not own or harbored the dogs that attacked the decedent. The trial court’s decision was later reversed when the state Supreme Court ruled that the lower court should determine whether the functions of the defendant as warden could give rise to a tort liability under the situation.

Details of Dog Bite Case

The case stemmed from the death of a woman who allegedly made 13 calls to the county’s animal resource center, to complain about her neighbor’s two large breed pit bulls/mastiffs. In one call, the decedent reported that her neighbor allowed his aggressive dog to run loose and threatened her that the dog would have her as a treat. In another call, the decedent also said that the dog owner had taken his pit bull off the chain and ordered it to attack her.

Inaction Despite Decedent’s Calls

The defendant allegedly observed a policy of ‘education’ rather than ‘enforcement’ which included directing calls to a voice mail. Sometime in 2014, the two dogs attacked the decedent and killed her. The administrator of the decedent’s estate sued the dog warden for personal injury and wrongful death, alleging that the defendant should have declared the dogs as nuisances and had them impounded while they were still unlicensed.

Liability for Dog Bite

The high court ruled that the trial court should consider the issue of liability more closely to determine whether the dog warden has a legal duty that may be the basis of a finding for a tort liability. The court further said that any claim for damage is not limited to owners, keepers, or harborers of a dog.

A dog bite incident can cause severe and even fatal injuries. If you are attacked, it’s important to seek medical treatment for your injuries and then speak to an experienced dog bite attorney about your situation. Your attorney can determine whether you have a potential claim for compensation and initiate the appropriate legal action on your behalf.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. has years of proven experience in dog bite cases, helping severely injured clients obtain the maximum value of compensation that they legally deserve. We assist clients in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Deming, Roswell, and Silver City. Call us at (575) 526-5263 to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly attorneys.