Dog attack leads to personal injury claim

By Jon Campisi | Jun 15, 2011

A personal injury lawsuit has been filed against a dog owner whose pit bull bit a city woman, causing severe injuries.

Attorney Kenneth S. Saffren, of the Jenkintown, Pa., law firm Saffren & Weinberg, filed the complaint June 13 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Philadelphia resident Melissa Hughes Williams.

Named as defendant is Theodore Zachary, who resides in the city’s Port Richmond section.

According to the personal injury suit, Williams was a guest at the Cambria Street home of Zachary’s in late June 2009 when she was attacked by a pit bull that was unchained and roaming the home freely.

“Theodore Zachary knew or should have known that the pit bull dogs were ferocious, or of a ferocious and vicious and mischievous nature and had dangerous propensities including frightening and biting human beings,” the lawsuit states.

The suit doesn’t specify whether it was actually one or two dogs who bit the plaintiff, although it mentions “pit bull dog and/or dogs” numerous times throughout the complaint.

The lawsuit also does not mention the nature of the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant, whether they knew each other or whether the plaintiff was simply walking on or near property owned by the defendant.

The incident caused Williams to suffer various injuries, such as hematoma’s and lacerations that led to scarring on the plaintiff’s arm. Skin grafts were needed to repair the physical damage.

The lawsuit accuses the defendant of negligence for failing to properly attend to his dog, failing to watch and supervise his dog’s activities, failing to utilize a fence for the dog, failing to chain, restrain and/or tie the dog, and failing to exercise due care with regard to the rights and safety of the plaintiff under the circumstances.

Williams, the lawsuit states, has incurred “substantial” monetary expenses for medical attention because of the incident, and her professional duties and personal activities have been affected because of her injuries.

Williams demands judgment against the defendant in an amount not in excess of $50,000, together with interest and court costs.

The non-jury matter awaits listing.

The case number is 110600823.

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