E was sitting with the son of the Defendant’s on the sofa watching television. The family dog, a West Highland Terrier was lying with his head on the E’s lap and the other half of his body on the sofa. E said the dog had been lying in this position for approximately ten minutes and was either asleep or dozing. She needed to use the bathroom and gently put her arms around the dog’s body and gave him a gentle nudge to move off her lap. Without any warning, the dog turned and bit the E’s upper lip.

Liability was denied from the outset and, in addition the Defendant’s categorically denied the Claimant’s version of events saying that E had shouted "Bah!" at the dog before it bit her. We obtained and disclosed Hospital records written within a hour of the bite happening which confirmed E's version of events and said quite clearly that she had been bitten while trying to move a dog off her lap. We also obtained a report from a Canine Behavioural Expert in respect of the dogs behaviour prior to the incident and his behaviour when the incident occurred.

E made an offer to settle of £4,500.00. The offer was rejected and the Defendant continued to deny liability. The only way forward was for us to issue and serve Court proceedings.

When witness statements were received it became apparent that the Defendant's main witness hadn't seen the dog bite E and wasn't able to say if the "Bah!" sound he heard came before or after she was bitten. In a last attempt the Defendant made an application to the Court for their own expert report which was denied.  Shortly after they accepted the Claimant’s previous offer of £4,500 more than two years after it had first been made.


Christchurch Student bitten by friend’s dog receives compensation