Can you imagine living somewhere in the suburbs or a major city when out of nowhere a dangerous loose animal such as a dog comes charging up to you or your child biting you severely enough to cause serious damage? It’s a pretty scary thought to think that “man’s best friend” can intensely injure or cause permanent, even sometimes fatal damage to a human being. There are a list of dangerous dogs that many cities have restrictions called Breed Specific Legislation about banning their residents from owning such breeds. Those dogs are called the “power breeds” and they are the Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Bullmastiffs. Landlords are even putting that as a clause on many renter’s agreements that people may not possess these breeds on their properties since if one of those dogs bites a person, than the landlord could possible get sued as well. Not that these breeds are inherently more dangerous than other breeds it’s just that in the 1980’s many illegal dog fighting groups, and gangs bred these types of animals to be specifically lethal. Granted you are way more likely to be killed in an automobile accident than you would be from a dog attack. Nevertheless it’s very scary to be bitten by a raging dog, causes severe trauma for it’s victims, PTSD flashbacks about the attack and usually leaves lasting scars from the jagged edges of an animal’s sharp teeth if it breaks the skin, or even worse tears chunks out of its victim’s flesh.
One of the worst recorded attacks in history happened to Lev Liberman of New York City. Back in 2001 he suffered an awful attack from an entire pack of stray mangy dogs that jumped him in the Queens borough of New York. There was another person who tried to help Liberman during the attack, and she was gravely injured as well before another two good samaritans chased the dogs away. It was too late for Liberman, and it’s amazing that he survived the assault since the attack left him blind in both eyes, deaf in one ear, and incredibly disfigured since most of his scalp, hair, and outer ears were completely gone. The pictures of poor Mr. Liberman in the hospital are truly horrifying. In 2006 he was able to sue the city of New York, and was granted the right to do so from the NY Appellate Division Court. The suit was based on the fact that the city of New York didn’t properly maintain the vacant lots around the area that were overgrown with trash and filth that attracted the stray feral animals.
Finally in September of 2007, Mr. Lieberman won his lawsuit against the negligent city and was awarded $3 million dollars which seems to be the largest settlement for an animal bite ever awarded. Hopefully Mr. Lieberman whose life was changed forever from that one vicious attack will be able to use the money to make his life more comfortable since with all the injuries he sustained, he is unable to care for himself to this day requiring medical care from a private home based nurse around the clock. David E. Waterbury of Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, P.C. of Rego Park is the law firm that handled the suit.