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Five Top Pit Bull Verdicts

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The National Trial Lawyers Each day about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care treatment for dog bite injury, according to For pit bull injuries or dangerous breeds, one in every six bites require medical attention. In the last 10 years, pit bulls killed 203 Americans and accounted for 62 percent of total recorded animal related injuries.

A victim may recover damages from the owner’s homeowner or renter’s insurance policy if the breed is covered. However, most insurance policies do not insure aggressive breeds such as pit bulls and rottweilers. Below are recent verdicts from pit-bull attacks:

5. Owner Held Strictly Liable for Dog Bite in Connecticut, Victim Awarded $15,815

A Connecticut state court awarded a 28-year old female plaintiff $15,815 after she was attacked by a pit bull. The plaintiff was invited as a guest to a barbecue. As the owner was taking the dog to relieve itself, she bent down to pet the dog and it bit her in the face. The victim sustained a cut on her right eye that required stitches and permanent scarring. The defendant was held strictly liable for the incident even though he verbally warned guest the dog was uncomfortable around strangers. The plaintiff was awarded $15,000 in non-economic damages and $815 in medical expenses.

The case is Wadsworth v. Parmelee Case No. CV-11-6016-15, Conn. Sup. Ct.

4. $108,000 settlement in Oregon for Dog Bite

An Oregon court awarded a $108,000 settlement for injuries sustained by a 43 year-old woman due to an attack at a party. The victim claimed the owners were negligent because they allowed the dog to roam freely during the event. The party-goer had to undergo plastic surgery to repair facial injuries, and suffered a permanent loss of sensation in her lower lip. Other attendees testified the pet was unpredictable and aggressive. The court also found the victim 48 percent liable for petting an animal she did not know.

The case is Shertzer v. Davis Case No. 14CV0258, Circuit Court of Oregon.

3. Town Liable for $150,000 for Failure to Protect Against Dog Attack

A jury ruled that Hamburg, NY, was liable for negligently failing to protect an 82-year old woman and awarded her $150,000 afater a neighbor’s dog attacked her in her own yard.

After a neighbor’s dog attacked her, the plaintiff, Celeste Swietlik suffered a severe wrist fracture that required two internal pins and three days of in-patient treatment.

In the past, Swietlik and a neighbor had filed eight complaints about the same dog. She claimed that the dog had attacked other neighborhood dogs and that, in one instance, it attempted to break through a glass door, to enter her house. She asserted that town wardens visited her home several times and assured her safety. In her complaint, she argued she justifiably relied on the official’s assurances and the town assumed a duty to protect her.

2. $1.12 Million Award in for Washington Woman

A 2013 brutal pit bull attack, recently resulted in $1.12 million dollar verdict against the owner. An elderly woman was attacked by a neighbor’s two pit bulls while taking a walk in the neighborhood. The 65-year-old woman sustained several injuries because of the dog bites. While hospitalized she had a heart attack and died while being treated.

1. $37 Million Jury Verdict for Dekalb County, GA animal attack

An 8 year-old girl was mauled by two of her neighbor’s dogs in 2010 after the owners let the animals run free and unleashed. The attack resulted in doctor’s amputating part of her left arm, partial use of her right arm, and severe injuries to both ankles. The plaintiff’s parents alleged the defendants failed to control, vaccinate, and secure their known dangerous dogs. The jury originally awarded the plaintiff $72 million in actual and punitive damages, which was reduced to $37 million on appeal, due to the state cap of $250,000 for punitive damages.


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Posted by

Gotta love it when Bully people reference the American Temperament Testing Society. They are either deceptive or gullible.

To use it to monger pits and other bully dogs would be similar to using high IQ test results in defending human serial killers. "Ted Bundy can't be a bad guy, he's so smart!"

No other dogs, no children, no senior citizens are involved with the ATTS test.

Any living pit bull, even one who had attacked and killed its human owner, could pass this often misused test.

Yes bully dogs do pass with percents in the 80s, but read the test.

My favorite part is #4, where a starter pistol is fired, 3x, behind the dog. Dogs who panic fail the test. This tells a thinking person that if you are trying to stop a pit attack, warning shots won't stop 80% of the good game(insane) pits.

And that is actually what's happening. More bully dogs are killed by owners, neighbors, victims, first responders trying to stop an attack than pass this misleading test.

Don't ask those who financially benefit from dog aggression about reducing dog aggression. If you want to know which dogs are the absolute best at leaving home to attack for no reason (other than instinct) and fighting to the death, not stopping even if the victim totally submits, LOOK to those who created sociopathic dog aggression, the dog fighters.

All USA and UK dog men choose pits exclusively. Non bully dogs simply are not game/insane enough.

Posted by

To David Edelstein: (1) The location and awards in these cases were provided. All you have to do is Google them and verify for yourself the cases weren't fabricated. Who, or what, provided the information doesn't change the facts.

(2) The ATTS (American Temperament Test Society) does NOT test for pet suitability. The test was developed in 1977 by Alfons Ertelt and he was a printer, NOT an animal behaviorist. He owned German shepherds and was involved in the sport called shutzhund, which involves training dogs in the same manner in which police dogs are trained. The ATTS was intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work and it favors bold animals, i.e., dogs that face danger head-on without hesitation or fear. Courage is a desirable trait, timidity an undesirable trait. Thus, German shepherds do much better on the ATTS than do collies and other timid breeds. In fact, 95% of the dogs that fail the ATTS do so because they "lack confidence," e.g., when approaching a weirdly-dressed stranger. Of course, pit bull-type dogs are going to score well on a test that favors aggressive behavior because these monsters were bred for the purpose of fighting and killing other pit bulls and nothing deters them, certainly not weirdly-dressed strangers!

(3) The organizations you named are either comprised of dog freaks -- people who value dogs above everything else on Earth -- or by organizations that profit from pit bull attacks, such as the American Veterinary Medicine Association and American Bar Association. Every time a pit bull attacks someone's pet or livestock and doesn't kill the beast, some vet pockets thousands to treat the creature. Every time someone files a "dog bite" lawsuit, two lawyers pocket thousands to represent the injured party and the dog-owner. "Obama" sided with pit bull owners as a means of attracting the sort of people who own pit bulls to vote for the Democrats in congressional and gubernatorial elections.

Your comment is both stupid and lacks any sort of credibility.

Posted by

Thank you for this. It's important for people to know that owners of these various fighting bulldog types are being held accountable. Hopefully this will make them more careful in future, so that less of us get mauled or killed.

These verdicts will also be encouraging to people who have lost someone to a pit bull type dog attack or ended up with crippling medical bills as / for a surviving victim of such an attack.

Thank you!

Posted by

Unfortunately, you missed several awards that were much higher than most of these. Please see Thank you.

Posted by

Well it just goes to show ya... a four year degree and a degree in law does not make someone intelligent.

Anyone who references DogsBite as a credible source of factual information completely missed the boat in their education.

Why wasnt American Temperament Test Society referenced? Where is the official position statement from HSUS? ASPCA? AKC? UKC? American Veterinary Medicine Assoc? The Obama Adminstration's official position on Pit Bull hysteria and Senator McCarthy type legitimation that follows that hysteria? The American Bar Assoc official position on the legalities of BSL? The official position statement from National Assoc of Animal Control Officers?

Your article is both stupid and lacks any sort of credibility. Kory Nelson-esqe... through and through.

Posted by

This list seems to be only a small sampling of the verdicts I've heard of. For instance, right off the bat I remembered this case where a library volunteer brought their "therapy pit" to the library, where it mauled a woman:

There are many more...


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