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Man permanently disabled in attack by two pit bulls

Amount:

$5,137,657

Type:

Decision-Plaintiff

State:

Texas

Venue:

Brazos County

Court:

Brazos County District Court, 85th

Injury Type(s):

arm; leg; other-laceration; other-puncture wound; other-tendon, severed/torn; other-scar and/or disfigurement; epidermis-bite mark; face/nose-face; hand/finger-hand; surgeries/treatment-skin graft

Case Type:

Animals - Dog Bite; Negligence Per Se; Animals - Animal Control

Case Name:

Joseph Mooring v. Michael Gonzalez, Sandra Gonzalez, and Gregory Flores Gonzalez, No. 16-000061-CV-85

Date:

January 20, 2017

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Joseph Mooring (Male, 55 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

J. Davis Watson; Watson Law Firm; College Station, TX, for Joseph Mooring

Defendant(s):

Sandra Gonzalez, 

Michael Gonzalez, 

Gregory Flores Gonzalez

Defense Attorney(s):

Pro se; for Sandra Gonzalez, Michael Gonzalez, Gregory Flores Gonzalez ■ None reported; for Sandra Gonzalez, Michael Gonzalez, Gregory Flores Gonzalez

Facts:

On Nov. 2, 2015, plaintiff Joseph Mooring, 55, was walking to work along Old Kurten Road in Bryan. Mooring claimed that as he walked in front of a house located at 3706 Old Kurten Road, suddenly and without warning, two pit bull dogs attacked him. The dogs attacked Mooring for about five minutes before a neighbor came outside and hit the dogs to get them to release him. Mooring sustained multiple severe and deep puncture wounds. The property owners are Michael and Sandra Gonzalez. The dogs are owned by Gregory Flores. Mooring sued the Gonzalezes and Flores, for negligence per se and strict liability. Mooring claimed that the two dogs escaped from the defendants' yard and attacked him. Mooring alleged that the dogs were known in the neighborhood to have had numerous problems attacking others. He alleged that the dogs were known to be vicious. Mooring alleged that the property owners and owner of the dogs failed to confine, restrain and control the dogs. He alleged that they had a duty to prevent the dangerous dogs from making an attack. He also alleged strict liability. He alleged that at all times prior to, and at the time of the attack, the dogs owned, possessed and/or controlled by the defendants had vicious and dangerous propensities abnormal to its class, and such propensities were the producing cause and proximate cause of the injuries and damages he complained of. He alleged that because they should have known and/or had reason to know of the vicious propensities of the dogs, they are strictly liable for his injuries and damages. The Gonzalez defendants maintained that the dogs were properly restrained. They also claimed the dogs were not vicious.

Injury:

Mooring was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room. He sustained multiple bites and puncture wounds all over his body. He received severe nerve and tendon damage in his right arm. Mooring underwent multiple surgeries and several skin grafts to his arms and legs. Mooring also had to have a section of muscle and tendons removed from his back to help repair function to his right bicep. Mooring was left permanently disabled. He can no longer walk on his own and requires use of a walker or wheelchair to be mobile. Mooring also has to wear a brace on his right hand to assist function of his fingers and hand. His right hand is permanently frozen in a downward position. He requires assistance with basic activities of daily living such as buttoning his shirt. Mooring has had to remodel his home to make it handicap accessible. He can no longer chase or pick up his grandchildren. Mooring can no longer play pool or go bowling. He claimed these were activities he enjoyed doing prior to the attack. Mooring sought to recover damages for past and future medical expenses; past and future pain and suffering; past and future loss of earnings; past and future physical impairment; and past and future mental pain and suffering. The defendants did not actively dispute Mooring's damages.

Result:

The judge found Sandra Gonzalez and Flores negligent., negligent per se and strictly liable. He awarded $5,137,657.

Joseph Mooring: $29,737 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost; $750,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment; $1,500,000 Personal Injury: Future Physical Impairment; $29,920 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability; $228,000 Personal Injury: Future Lost Earnings Capability; $500,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering; $350,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering; $750,000 Personal Injury: Past Disfigurement; $500,000 Personal Injury: Future Disfigurement; $250,000 Personal Injury: past mental pain and suffering; $250,000 Personal Injury: future mental pain and suffering

Trial Information:

Judge:

Kyle Hawthorne

Trial Length:

1  days

Editor's Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's counsel.