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Case Conclusion Date: 02.04.2009

Practice Area: Personal Injury

Outcome: $255,000 including interest

Description: On June 16th, 2006, the plaintiff was a lawful visitor at the defendants’ home. The defendants were the owners of an American Bulldog named “Buster”. 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 plaintiff’s face, severing a portion of the plaintiff’s left nostril and upper lip. There was no evidence of teasing or tormenting which would otherwise have served as a defense to the plaintiffs’ statutory claims. The plaintiff was transported by ambulance to Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts where he underwent temporary “tacking” 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 plaintiff’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 plaintiff’s nose, significant scarring about his nose and forehead remained. Significant improvement in the appearance of the plaintiff’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 plaintiff’s Motion in Limine was granted, precluding any mention of the defendant as the “neighbor” of the plaintiffs, or any description as to where the subject events occurred.

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