In July of 2014, PA dog bite attorney, Thomas J. Newell obtained a legal decision that has opened up new avenues of recovery for Pennsylvania dog bite victims. On 12/19/13, Attorney Newell filed a 27 page Complaint in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas indexed to #2013-CV-11100.
This legal document identified an attack by three unleashed boxers on a York County resident in Millersburg, PA. Attorney Newell’s Complaint requested damages based upon eight separate legal theories. On 1/13/14, defense counsel filed Preliminary Objections averring that 5 of the 8 legal claims should be dismissed by the court. Oral Argument was held before Judge William T. Tully on 5/16/14.
On July 1, 2014, Judge Tully’s six-page Memorandum Opinion and Order was filed of record in Harrisburg, PA. The judge denied and dismissed four of the defendant’s five objections. The Pennsylvania dog attack lawyer may now present to a Dauphin County jury seven legal theories of recovery for the injured Federal Express delivery person.
LEGAL PRECEDENT – PUNITIVE DAMAGES
This dog bite Complaint avers that the boxers had previously pursued another FedEx delivery person. Judge Tully agreed with Attorney Newell that a punitive damage claim existed for his client based upon “prior vicious propensities.” It is noteworthy that there were no actual prior physical attacks/specific injuries before this attack.
A second punitive damage claim was also analyzed as legally valid based upon the fact that the dog owner was convicted by a District Justice of failing to confine his boxers. As noted in the Complaint, he was warned by the District Justice to restrain his dogs, even when they are on his driveway. Despite the District Justice’s admonition, the Complaint averred that the defendant’s dogs continued to be unrestrained and, in fact, later pursued another Federal Express worker.
LEGAL PRECEDENT – RECOVERY OF MEDICAL BILLS
Judge Tully agreed with the PA dog bite lawyer that his client could make a strict liability claim for recovery of her medical bills. The defense had alleged that the victim needed to prove negligence or negligence per se in order to obtain reimbursement for her medical expenses.
ATTORNEY NEWELL’S COMMENTS
“I am unaware of any prior court decisions allowing a dog bite victim to pursue punitive damages via multiple legal theories. 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.”
“This legal decision, in my opinion, opens up new avenues of economic recovery for innocent dog bite victims and, places greater accountability on those dog owners who a jury would find to be reckless.”
“Additionally, permitting a Pennsylvania dog bite victim to pursue a strict liability claim for the recovery of medical bill expenses may cause homeowners insurance companies to be more forthcoming in making medical bill payments prior to litigation so that the dog bite victim may obtain all necessary medical care.”
ATTORNEY NEWELL’S LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS
Attorney Newell has aggressively represented dog bite victims in 20 different Pennsylvania Counties. He was recently chosen as a 2014 Super Lawyer. Attorney Newell has been litigating on behalf of PA personal injury victims since 1981. He provides a free home consultation to dog bite victims anywhere in Pennsylvania.
HOW TO CONTACT ATTORNEY NEWELL
Attorney Newell can be reached at 1-800-980-4842. Summaries of more than 30 of Attorney Newell’s dog attack settlements can be reviewed on his website of http://www.PADogAttackLawyer.com. He can also be followed on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/DogAttackLawyer.