There was a horrible attack by a pitbull last month in Panama City that left a 4 year old little boy hospitalized with several bites. At first, authorities had a hard time finding the dog because the little boy’s mother’s boyfriend hid the truth from authorities. Finally, the story came together between what the 4 year old told his biological father and what they learned from others. Now, the pitbbull has been euthanized. Sheriff’s officials believed the boy, was attacked while his mother’s boyfriend stopped by a garage sale. When the 4 year old was released from the hospital, he told his biological father he was playing with puppies when attacked. Deputies learned the boyfriend had actually taken the boy to a friend’s house who owned several large dogs, including the attacking pitbull, who had just had puppies. Deputies arrested the boyfriend for Perjury and Child Neglect. We’ve also learned the pitbull’s owner Has also been arrested. The owner gave the dog over to Bay County Animal Control to be euthanized a couple weeks ago. They say this is not the first incident with the pit bull. They have had two complaints about the dog this year with one of those complaints involving a bite to the leg.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the young boy. We hope he has a speedy recovery.
Under Florida law, liability is clear when a dog owner is responsible for the damages caused by their dog. Florida Statutes §767.04 Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten spells it out. The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident. A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner. However, the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.” The remedy provided by this section is in addition to and cumulative with any other remedy provided by statute or common law.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dog bite, contact us at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation (850)659-2252 or through our website: www.brannoncanhelp.com