Misbehaving animals can cause tremendous damage

It seems as if a new story about a serious animal attack hits the national news every month. While the media tends to report only the most serious events, including incidents that occur in the public spaces of zoos and parks, bites from dogs and other pets occur far more frequently. Even if they don’t result in death, such events can have serious aftereffects that linger for months or years. The following cases have all caused death or injury and produced hefty payouts as a result.

1. Pittsburgh Zoo’s African Painted Dogs Mauling

In 2012, a toddler fell into an African painted dog habitat at the Pittsburgh Zoo and subsequently died in a brutal mauling. Although the lawsuit filed by the parents is ongoing, the zoo has already been forced to pay about $5,000 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a settlement in a criminal investigation. This is likely to increase the chances that the zoo will be found liable in the parents’ suit.

2. Maine Dog Bite Case

A man who was pursued and mauled by a rottweiler mix successfully secured a $175,000 verdict after rejecting a far smaller settlement offer from the dog owner’s attorney. Despite a relatively small medical bill, he successfully argued that the incident left him with psychological scars.

3. New York Dog Bite Case

A similar case involving a pit bull attack in New York State produced a verdict of nearly $250,000. While the injuries weren’t extensive, the attack dramatically affected the victim’s well-being. The jury agreed that such mental trauma had to be taken into account.

4. Massive Pit Bull Attack Case

A much more serious pit bull attack in Missouri resulted in a total payout of more than $7 million. Much of this was earmarked for a $500,000 medical bill and more than $1 million in loss of future income.

5. San Francisco Zoo’s Siberian Tiger Rampage

In this 2007 incident, one person was killed and two others seriously injured in a tiger mauling at the San Francisco Zoo. In 2009, the family of the deceased individual settled with the zoo for an undisclosed sum that was reported to be in excess of $1 million. The two survivors received payments of $900,000.

We hope that you or your loved ones will never have to experience an animal attack firsthand. Even non-fatal attacks can be traumatic experiences that take years to fade. Many produce lasting effects, including serious infections and psychological scars. If you do find yourself dealing with the aftermath of such an event, we’re happy to provide the support and guidance you require during this difficult period. To consult with one of our expert attorneys, fill out our online contact form or contact our office at (317) 842-8283.

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