Dog bite to child

April 28, 2010
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Trial Report

Steven and Jessica Russell, as parent of Caroline Russell, a minor v. Charles and Sherry Baughman

Court & Case no.: settled prior to filing suit

Injuries: facial scars

Date: Dec. 8, 2009


Disposition: $150,000 settlement to parents of injured child

Plaintiff Attorney(s): Steven M. Crell, Cohen Garelick & Glazier, Indianapolis

Defendant Attorney(s): none

Insurance: Grange Mutual Casualty Co

Case Information: Caroline Russell was 6 years old when she visited a friend’s home in Ohio. She was directed by the friend’s mother, the homeowner, to go to the garage to get ice cream. Caroline was attacked in the garage by the homeowner’s dog and was bitten on her nose, mouth, and cheek.
Caroline required 42 stitches in her face and had to have subsequent plastic surgery to correct scarring caused by the attack. She still has scars on her nose and lip that her plastic surgeon indicates will likely be permanent.

Because Caroline’s injuries occurred in Ohio at an Ohio residence, Ohio law controls. Ohio law differs from Indiana law in that a dog owner is strictly liable to a person injured by the dog so long as the injured person has not teased or provoked the dog, and so long as the injured person was legally in the presence of the dog and not committing a crime at the time of the attack.

Thus, in this instance, liability was fairly certain, and the proper amount of damages was the primary focus of settlement negotiations. The homeowner’s insurance company agreed to a pre-suit settlement requiring payment to Caroline’s parents for her benefit in the sum of $150,000. A minor’s compromise was approved by the Superior Court in Hamilton County, where Caroline now lives.

 - Steven M. Crell



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.