Lawsuit: Negligence leads to "horror movie-like" pit bull attack on plaintiff's dog

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 25, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A new lawsuit in state court says a plaintiff is reeling psychologically after witnessing the “horror movie-like incident” of his dog allegedly being attacked by two out-of-control pit bulls.

Jan Koziara of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 14 versus Eda Coviello and Christopher Coviello of Montville, N.J. and A Place For Rover, Inc. (doing business as “Rover.Com”) of Seattle, Wash.

“On May 6, 2018, at or around 10:30 a.m., two pit bull dogs owned by the Coviellos, bit, mauled and attempted to kill plaintiff’s much-smaller dog 'Chief,' who weighed 35 pounds. At the time of the attack, the pit bulls were in the permissive custody of ‘Bradley,' a for-hire member of the Rover professional dog-walking network.” the suit states.

“Such attack occurred in unprovoked fashion, while plaintiff was taking Chief for a routine walk, at or around 46th Street and Osage Avenue in Philadelphia, with plaintiff’s two year-old son. During this attack, the subject pit bulls clamped down with their jaws and did not release their jaws until were physically forced away by shocked bystanders. Plaintiff whisked away his two year-old son just in time for the toddler to avoid meeting a similar fate as Chief.”

According to the lawsuit, Chief was rushed to the nearby University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital, where he was subjected to highly invasive and extensive surgery under general anesthesia, which lasted for several hours. The plaintiff says he has developed post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological trauma and a fear of dogs.

“Further, plaintiff has manifested and continues to manifest consequential adverse psychological symptoms from the horror movie-like incident that he witnessed alongside his young son,” the suit adds.

Koziara accuses the Coviello defendants of owning violent pit bull dogs, improperly and negligently trusting them to an unqualified individual and failing to exercise due care under the circumstances. As for Rover, it is accused of negligently hiring and instructing its dog walker and also failing to use due care.

For two counts of negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, fees, punitive damages and whatever additional relief that the Court deems just and appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by Adam S. Barrist of The Barrist Firm, in Bala Cynwyd.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180601618

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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