Insurer pays $40K for dog bite claim

By Denise Royal | Aug 17, 2017

LANCASTER – A child who suffered facial injuries after being bitten by a dog has been issued a settlement of nearly $40,000.

Kya Hackney was 3 years old at the time of the attack. 

The Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County approved the settlement on May 8. The funds were paid by Allstate, the insurer of the dog owner Pamela Hackney, who is also Kya Hackney’s grandmother. The girl’s father, Jason Hackney, made the legal claim on her behalf.

Jason Hackney's original complaint stated Kya Hackney suffered injuries to her eyelid and the left side of her face extending up to her hairline when the dog bit her in September 2015. The suit states she was treated by doctors at Lancaster General Hospital.

According to suit, after two subsequent checkups, doctors determined Kya Hackney's wounds were healing well. 

The court ruled that of the $40,000 paid by Allstate, $26,859 will be deposited into a bank account on behalf of the victim. The court mandated no funds will be withdrawn until the victim is 18, unless authorized by a court order.

A portion of the settlement, $10,000, went to attorney’s fees. David Lutz of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP of Harrisburg represented the victim in the settlement with Allstate. The firm also charged $411 for out-of-pocket expenses.

Because some of Kya Hackney’s medical bills were paid by Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, $2,730.04 is to be held in escrow for the purposes of negotiating the department's lien. Lutz predicts that based on his experience, DHS may reduce its lien by as much as 25 percent, court records show. 

As a result, the $2,730 will be held in escrow by Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLP until the exact payment amount is negotiated. Any remaining funds will be deposited into Kya Hackney’s court-mandated bank account.

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Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas

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