Steve Crell Obtains Substantial Settlement for Child Dog Bite Victim

Cohen Garelick & Glazier Attorney Secures Settlement for Child Bitten By Dog

Settlement C.R., a minor v. C.S.B.

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:
C.R. 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. C.R. was attacked in the garage by the homeowner's dog and was bitten on her nose, mouth, and cheek.
C.R. 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 C.R.'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 C.R.'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 C.R. now lives.

- Steven M. Crell