Plaintiff allegedly injured in greyhound attack sues pet's owner in state court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 18, 2018

PITTSBURGH – A plaintiff who allegedly suffered severe injuries to both herself and her puppy in an unprovoked dog attack has initiated legal action against the dog’s owner for damages.

Erin Volpe of White Oak filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 10 versus Daniel Johnston of Elizabeth.

On June 13, 2016, the lawsuit states Volpe was an invited guest of Johnston at his premises, when his greyhound dog Rudy allegedly attacked Volpe while in an “unrestrained and aggressive state.” Further, the litigation contends Volpe’s dog Sherman, a St. Bernard puppy, was also attacked at the same time.

As a result, Volpe allegedly suffered a litany of injuries, including: Multiple dog bites to her face, neck and arms; multiple lacerations and contusions requiring multiple sutures and/or cosmetic surgery; extensive injuries to the bilateral periorbital and pre-maxillary soft tissues; broken bones, including a fractured nasal bone; emphysema in left neck with bilateral neck wounds requiring surgery; emotional and psychological trauma; post-traumatic stress disorder; injury and damage to the jaw; plus a jaw injury resulting in an inability to eat and severe weight loss.

According to the suit, Johnston negligently failed to control, barricade and/or remove Rudy from the premises, along with violation the Pennsylvania Dog Law and/or Dangerous Dog Statute and numerous other charges.

For alleged violation of the aforementioned laws and counts of negligence per se, negligence and property damage, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $35,000, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by David J. Watson of Balzarini & Watson, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-000374

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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