Gray·Duffy Obtains Favorable Judgment in Dog Bite Injury Case

February 2011


Overview

Michael Eisenbaum of Gray·Duffy’s Encino office successfully obtained a jury verdict of more than $660,000 on behalf of the firm’s client, who was severely bitten by the defendant’s dog.

Discussion

Kathleen Corbin, et al. v. Michael Tansey

Kathleen Corbin sustained a severe dog bite to her chin while hugging her friend, Michael Tansey, resulting in a portion of her chin being bitten off.  Mrs. Corbin received a series of five reconstructive surgeries, a laser procedure and filler injections.  Her total medical expenses were approximately $73,000.

Prior to initiating a lawsuit, Mrs. Corbin underwent three of the surgeries, and the defendant’s homeowners insurance paid for the medical expenses of approximately $41,000.  After refusing further payment, Mrs. Corbin was forced to file suit.

After evaluating the case, Mr. Eisenbaum served the defendants with statutory offers to settle for the amounts of $484,499 for Kathleen Corbin and $23,999 for her 10-year-old daughter, Rhiannon Corbin.  These offers were rejected.  Thus, the case proceeded to trial.

During the trial, Rhiannon testified and her claim was settled for $25,000.  On behalf of Mrs. Corbin, Mr. Eisenbaum made a settlement demand of $450,000, which was rejected by the defense.  The favorable jury verdict found that Mrs. Corbin’s damages were approximately $776,355; however, they also concluded she was 15 percent at fault for placing her face next to the dog, resulting in a net verdict of $659,902.  The defense was entitled to a credit for the amount they had paid for Mrs. Corbin’s medical expenses, reducing the verdict to $619,099.14.  Mrs. Corbin received $675,000 from the defense as she was entitled to costs, and interest as a result of her statutory offer.

Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.