After a 4-day trial and half a day of talks, a Texas jury ruled against a couple, slapping them with a $695,000 bill for damages after their dog bit a neighbor. The jury in Parker County also required the couple to pay $125,000 in punitive damages after the court found their dog was dangerous, and that the couple was negligent by failing to identify their dog’s temperament.
The defendant dog owners argued their dog was friendly, and that they had no idea the animal escaped from their yard. They also claimed to have been out of town during the dog bite incident, which they say was partly caused by their daughter accidentally leaving the gate open. However, the court found enough evidence during the trial that another neighbor felt compelled to bring a handgun when picking up mail from the mailbox to protect herself from the aggressive dog.
Likewise, another neighbor refuted the defendants’ claims, testifying that the dog had escaped several other times in the past, and could still break out even if the gate was closed. According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the jury was presented with enough evidence showing the dog had bitten people on several other occasions, and was in fact, trained to attack.
Jennifer Duggin, the plaintiff, testified she sustained severe vascular damage, and that she still felt pain in the bite area, which has since scarred into the form of a dog’s mouth.
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