Mrs E had dropped her daughter off at school and was walking home along a quiet London street. At one point she had to walk by a dog and its owner. The dog had been led on a lead and had come out of the owner's nearby house however it was Mrs E's case that the owner was turned away and distracted as he opened his car door. As he drew level with the dog it jumped up and bit her breast. The bite caused Mrs E both physical and psychological injuries.
It can be unusual for dog bite compensation claims to go to trial especially where the cicumstances are as seemingly straightforward as in Mrs E's but the Defendant denied liability thoughout. Liability was denied on the basis that the dog have never shown any agression before and that Mrs E was on her phone at the time and therefore not looking where she was going.
Slee Blackwell obtained Mrs E's phone records which showed she was not on the phone at the time she was bitten. We also obtained evidence to show that the dog was wearing a haltee collar at the time which meant the owner had obvious concerns about control. We had ensured that Mrs E had a specialist Personal Injury barrister on her side who fully understood the important and often confusing law associated with dog bite claims and he was able to take the judge through the Animals Act 1971 and show why the owner was at fault. The judge found that even though the dog had never shown any agressive tendencies the law showed that the defendant dog owner was responsible. He found in favour of Mrs E and she was awarded compensation in excess of £4,400. She was also awarded extra compensation and costs because the Defendant had previously rejected an offer for a lower amount.