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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Dog Bite / Volunteer Wins $6.8M After Vicious Dog Attack from Troubled L.A. Animal Shelter

Volunteer Wins $6.8M After Vicious Dog Attack from Troubled L.A. Animal Shelter


An L.A. animal shelter volunteer recently won a lawsuit to the tune of $6.8 million after a vicious dog attack severely damaged her arm. The defendant in this case was the city of L.A. animal shelters who failed to warn the volunteer that the dog had a history of biting its owner. Her injuries were extensive. According to the lawsuit, the dog nearly ripped off her arm in the attack. The plaintiff still has nerve and bone damage to her right arm where the dog latched onto her for a reported five minutes forcing her to drag the dog around the facility until she found help.

The plaintiff elected to volunteer at the troubled city agency after she heard that dogs were being neglected and ignored due to understaffing. On the day of the attack, the plaintiff was asked to move a 100-pound German Shepherd mix from a kennel to another part of the facility to meet a prospective family who would adopt the dog. The shelter staff told the plaintiff that the dog was “grumpy” but neglected to inform her that the dog had a bite history and was aggressive. The plaintiff did not know that the dog had been surrendered to the facility after biting its previous owner. A former director of the Animal Services department testified that the dog’s status as “aggressive” should have been noted on his kennel. The plaintiff’s attorney said that this was an open question during trial: whether or not Animal Services placed a yellow mark on the dog’s kennel report. According to the lawsuit, no one was alerted as to the dog’s aggressive history and this led to the dog attack that nearly cost the plaintiff her arm.

The attack

The plaintiff, who was an untrained volunteer, was asked to lead the dog out of its kennel alone and present the dog to a prospective adoptive family. After the plaintiff removed the dog’s leash, the dog attacked her, latching onto her arm and refusing to let go. She was unable to break free of the dog’s grip on her arm. The plaintiff dragged herself with the dog from the kennels to the shelter’s main facility. Eventually, another employee spotted her and came to assist.

An ambulance took the plaintiff to the hospital where she underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries and a skin graft. She spent nearly 40 days in the facility’s ICU and was told that she would likely lose her hand. Doctors were able to save her hand, but she still has extensive nerve and bone damage. She does not have the full use of her hand and the skin of her arm is now a different color than the rest of her skin. A pulse is barely detectable in the wrist and the hand no longer receives adequate blood flow.

Talk to an Oakland, CA Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today

The Oakland personal injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada represent the interests of those who have been injured in dog bite attacks. Call our office today for a free consultation and we can begin preparing your lawsuit right away.



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