ILNews

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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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