Dogs Attack Seriously Injures South Seattle Boy

Story Highlights:
10-year-old hospitalized after South Seattle dog attack
Three bull mastiffs attacked boy in backyard
Taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Date: December 5, 2010, 12/05/2010
Location: South Seattle, King County, Washington
Type: Dog attack
Outcome: 10-year-old boy hospitalized

Three brothers were playing at Brighton Playfield in South Seattle on Sunday when their ball flew into a back yard on South Kenny Street. One of the boys climbed over the fence and into the yard to retrieve the ball when he was attacked by three bull mastiffs. 

The 10-year-old boy suffered serious injuries including large bite wounds to his face, head, and neck and possibly a broken arm. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, reported to be in stable condition in the intensive care unit.

A woman at the house, who declined to give her full name, claimed that the dogs belonged to her son and have never attacked anyone before. She also added that the boy could have come to her front door to retrieve the ball instead of jumping the fence, and that the dogs were merely protecting their territory. A next-door neighbor also attested to the dogs' good behavior saying they were "really docile" and never caused any problems.

According to King 5 News, the boy's uncle, Brady Russell, who was nearby during the time of the attack, saved his nephew by jumping into the yard and fending off the dogs. He claimed to have used extreme violent agression towards the dogs and walked away without a scratch. His nephew may have some scarring because his arm was "pretty chewed up", but he should make a complete recovery.

The dogs are currently in a 10-day quarantine in accordance with the King County Health Department's requirement after a human attack. No decision has yet been made about what will happen to the dogs. They may be released back to their owner after quarantine, or the owner could surrender them, which would most likely lead to euthanization. The owner could also face a $269 fine and/or a court case in response to the dogs' attack.

Dog Bite Statistics

Nearly 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and 50% of dog bite fatalities are children under 10 years old. In the US, approximately 100 children are bitten by dogs every day and approximately 92 of these children will need medical attention. Statistically 15 to 20 people are killed in vicious fatal dog attacks every year. One third of all injury claims against homeowner liability policies are related to dog attacks.

Washington State Dangerous Dog Law
The owner of any dog that aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human, whether or not the dog has previously been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a class C felony punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the human severely injured or killed by the defendant's dog. Read RCW 16.08.100 to learn more.

Seattle Dog Bite Law Attorneys
Unfortunately, dog bites are very common and can have serious consequences, including permanent disfigurement, nerve and tissue damage and psychological trauma. In extreme cases, dog attacks may result in death. If you or a family member has suffered due to a dog bite, Chris Davis and everyone at the Davis Law Group can help you. Having experience with this type of claim, we have the skill and experience necessary to represent you.

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