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Indiana Supreme Court Hears Evansville Dog Bite Case

A dog bite lawsuit being heard by the Indiana Supreme Court could have long-term implications regarding dog attacks and government responsibility.

The case centers on six-year-old Shawn Davis, who was attacked by a 60-pound Rottweiler while playing in his Evansville neighborhood with his friend Jessica Bays. The dog began to chase Davis, who attempted to run from the aggressive dog. The dog bit the boy several times until it was kicked away by Bays. Davis was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Instead of filing a dog bite lawsuit against the dog’s owner, Thomas Minor, Davis’ family has filed a lawsuit against the City of Evansville. They argue that the dog, Romeo, had attacked a child in a similar incident just months before and that other reports of a dog matching Romeo’s description had also been filed. In their opinion, Animal Control should have acted to prevent future cases and Shawn’s injuries should have never happened.

Lower courts in Indiana differed in their opinions of whether Evansville was immune to the lawsuit because of its government status. What the Indiana Supreme Court will decide will have a significant impact on future dog bite cases as well as on future cases involving city liability and city negligence.

What do you think? Should a city be responsible for the boy’s dog bite, or should the city be immune from dog bite lawsuits?
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Dog Bite Checklist

What to Do if You're Attacked

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Take photographs of the wounds
  • Call 911 or animal control to report the incident
  • Take photographs of the dog (if it's safe to do so)
  • Gather information about the dog owner (name, address, phone number, insurance info)
  • Contact an experienced dog bite attorney