On September 22, 2010 KOMO News Radio host John Carlson interviewed Seattle, Washington dog bite lawyer Chris Davis about the pitbull mauling of Jeanette Cunningham. The interview discusses in detail local, state and national dog bite laws and the recent lawsuit filed by Mr. Davis on behalf of Ms. Cunningham for the facial injuries and disfigurment that she suffered due to the attack by the pit bull in question.
According to the Insurance Information Institute dog bites cost American home insurers 6.4 percent more in 2009 than in the previous year, with the average claim exceeding $24,000 for the third straight year. The injuries cost $412 million in 2009, compared with $387.2 million a year earlier, the fifth straight increase. The number of claims increased 4.8 percent to 16,586.
Nearly 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and 50% of dog bite fatalities are children under 10 years old. These dog bites range from minor injuries to serious dog maulings, resulting in bodily injury and even death.
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.
On July 24, 2010 Jeannette D. Cunningham was walking on a public street of Southwest 143rd Street in Burien, Washington, when she was suddenly attacked and mauled by Juan J. Garcia and Aleicia Garcia's pit bull. The dog attacked and severely mauled Jeannette without provocation. The dog ripped off and chewed up Jeannette Cunningham's lower lip, causing her severe facial disfigurement. The dog had a known history of biting people and/or acting aggressively towards other human beings. The defendants knew their dog had also escaped the front yard of their residence on prior occasions before it had ever escaped and attacked Jeannette.
Cunningham's attorney, Seattle dog bite lawyer Chris Davis, filed a lawsuit in King Co. Superior Court (Cause #10-2-33249-9 KNT) today. The complaint says that given the Garcia's knowledge of the dog's history and aggressive tendencies, and the fact that they failed to kill the animal or failed to secure the animal so that it was impossible for the animal to hurt another human being they should be held liable for the injuries and damages caused to Jeannette.
Davis says that the Garcia's are strictly liable for the injuries and damages caused to plaintiffs as specified by Washington State's dog liability statute RCW 16.08.