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Pit bull owner held accountable for North Carolina child’s death

| May 30, 2012 | Wrongful Death |

Last year, a North Carolina girl suffered fatal injuries after she was attacked by two dogs while playing in her grandmother’s yard. The dog attack was a tragic event that the child’s family might never be able to fully recover from, especially since their child was only five years old when she died.

As many Fayetteville residents might recall, the fatal attack occurred on Jan. 12, 2011, in Waxhaw. The child was in her grandmother’s yard when two pit bulls suddenly jumped the fence of a neighbor’s yard and attacked her. After reaching a settlement in February from a wrongful death lawsuit that had been filed by the victim’s family, the girl’s family received some additional closure regarding their daughter’s death this week when the owner of the pit bulls was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Prior to the child’s wrongful death, the two pit bulls had been seen roaming around the neighborhood on numerous occasions. Neighbors did complain about the dogs for fear that one day the dogs would suddenly attack someone. Unfortunately, the owner of the pit bulls apparently failed to address the complaints to ensure that his dogs could not escape his yard.

After learning of the dog attack involving the five-year-old, neighbors and attorneys argued that the owner was negligent and could have taken precautions to prevent his dogs from escaping his yard. Had these precautions been taken, the child’s death could have been avoided. A wrongful death settlement — which certainly will never make up for the family’s devastating loss — was reached in February. But perhaps the family feels that justice has finally been served this week knowing that the dog owner will be forced to spend time in prison for his negligence.

Dog bites can result in serious or fatal injuries, yet dog owners in North Carolina fail to acknowledge that their pets could cause great harm to children and others if they do not take certain safety precautions to prevent an attack. If you or a loved one has been in injured in a dog attack, do consider protecting your rights as well as the safety of others by pursing a personal injury claim.

Source: WCNC, “Pit bull owner sentenced after 5-year-old’s death,” Caleb Troop, May 29, 2012

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