Saturday, 11 September 2010

Family of Man Killed after Dog Bite Sues Owner

An interesting case out of Seattle involves a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was killed after he developed a deadly infection, following a dog bite. Kenneth Bock was bitten by a dog that belonged to Konrad Haskins. The bite was on the finger, and it drew blood. On its own, this was not a serious dog bite. In fact, it was one of the millions of dog bites every year that that do not end in hospitalization, or the need for a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer.

Except that the very next day, Bock developed a strange and unexplained pain in his leg. When he went to the hospital, doctors diagnosed a blood clot. Bock soon developed an infection called Capnocytophaga canimorsus sepsis. This infection is caused from a bacterium that is normally found in the saliva of dogs and cats. Ten days after he was bitten by Haskins’ dog, Bock died from complications resulting from the dog bite.

His family has now filed a lawsuit against Haskins, claiming that the dog owner was aware of his animal’s history of biting people, but still allowed him to roam around without a leash. Bock’s family is relying on the animal's alleged history of biting. They are also pointing to another dog bite involving the same dog on the same day on the same property. According to lawyers for Haskins, at the time of the bite, the dog was in Haskins’ SUV, and Bock had put his hand through the window to pet the dog, and was bitten instead. Haskins insurance company refused to pay out the full amount of his policies, amounting to $1.5 million to Bock’s family, and hence, the lawsuit.

Fatalities from dog bites are not unheard of, but are relatively rare. Usually, these fatalities involve little children or infants who are mauled by dogs. A death from an infection that develops as a result of a dog bite, is even rarer, but again not unheard of. According to estimates, about 16 percent of all dogs carry the Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacterium in their saliva. Approximately one-third of these dog-bite related infections end in death.

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