Case Conclusion Date:February 4, 2009
Practice Area:Personal Injury
Outcome:$255,000 including interest
Description:On June 16th, 2006, the plaintiff was a lawful visitor at the defendantsâ€™ home. The defendants were the owners of an American Bulldog named â€œBusterâ€. The plaintiff, a neighbor of the defendant, was familiar with Buster. As the dog approached the plaintiff, the plaintiff knelt-down and the dog suddenly bit at the plaintiffâ€™s face, severing a portion of the plaintiffâ€™s left nostril and upper lip. There was no evidence of teasing or tormenting which would otherwise have served as a defense to the plaintiffsâ€™ statutory claims. The plaintiff was transported by ambulance to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts where he underwent temporary â€œtackingâ€ of the loose skin overlying his nose, until he could be seen by a surgeon with experience in facial reconstruction. Following several consultations, a plan was formulated which involved three surgeries designed to reconstruct the plaintiffâ€™s nose using skin grafted from his forehead. The plaintiff underwent three surgical procedures at Massachusetts General Hospital between August 2006 and April 2007. While the surgeries were largely successful in restoring the plaintiffâ€™s nose, significant scarring about his nose and forehead remained. Significant improvement in the appearance of the plaintiffâ€™s upper lip was also achieved. The plaintiff incurred medical bills totaling approximately $60,000 and lost wages totaling an additional $7,000. At trial, the plaintiffâ€™s Motion in Limine was granted, precluding any mention of the defendant as the â€œneighborâ€ of the plaintiffs, or any description as to where the subject events occurred.