A Chester County citizen was severely injured in June of 2016 after being assault by a pitbull and sough legal advice to help her get the medical treatment she needed and compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the inaction of the vicious dog’s owners and the negligent supervision of her landlord. Her severe injuries included damage to her legs, arms, and face after suffering terrible bites from a “jumpy and less personable” 72lbs American Pitbull that was owned by a nearby neighbor/defendant in their Chester County apartment building. As she was walking down the stairs to speak to the defendant, the dog was let loose from his leash, knocked her over and bit down on her limbs and face multiple times. She was significantly injured and needed advice and representation from personal injury lawyers in West Chester PA and reached out to the Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Her injuries caused her to need several stitches that would leave her with medical bill debt if she could not recover in this case. She was seeking recovery of damages from the landlord of her apartment building, due to his breach of reasonable care owed to her as a person on the premises.
Before this incident, our client contacted her landlord on many occasions to have the dangerous dog removed from the apartment in agreeance with the “no dog” policy that was claimed to be set on this property. The landlord claimed that he did not have any knowledge of the dog’s presence at the apartment. The insurance company of the landlord immediately denied the claim because there was no proof that the landlord had actual knowledge of the dog on the premises or actual knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities.
Also, the landlord did not live at the location of where the incident took place, making him an “out-of-possession landlord.” Attorney Joshua Tebay stated that “the toughest issue in this case was proving liability. We had to gather evidence along with witnesses to prove that the landlord had actual knowledge of the dog at the apartment.”
Our personal injury team gathered evidence of text messages and pictures through multiple complaints of the plaintiffs and witnesses who are also tenants of the defendant showing proof of the landlord’s actual knowledge of the dog at the location.
Since the landlord’s insurance carrier denied liability, we filed a lawsuit to fight for our client. The personal injury team at Ciccarelli Law Offices worked together to battle the insurance company through the entire litigation process.
In Pennsylvania, “a landlord out of possession may be held liable for injuries by animals owned and maintained by his tenant when the landlord has knowledge of the presence of the dangerous animal and where he has the right to control or remove the animal by retaking possession of the premises.” Palermo v. Nails, 334 Pa. Super. 544, 547 (1984). The litigation process took a total of three days, and in the end, our client was successfully awarded a six figure amount for her pain and suffering.
Ciccarelli Law Offices takes on many personal injury cases in the Chester County and surrounding areas. The personal injury team at the West Chester office will fight tirelessly to make sure our clients receive the best outcome in their case and the best possible compensation they deserve.