Family Dog Killed by Neighbor’s Pit Bull in Sacramento Dog Attack

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite lawsuit and its proceedings.)


According to Plaintiff: On the afternoon of March 19, 2003, plaintiff Chelo Remmington was pulling up in front of her house in her van in Sacramento when she noticed two pit bulls being walked by young boys. She was concerned because the dogs were approaching a group of boys playing basketball at the end of the street, one of whom was her son. She could hear the two boys who were walking the dogs taunting the basketball players by threatening to sic the pit bulls on them. As her van rolled to a stop, she saw the family’s 18-pound female American Eskimo, Puffy, bound out of the house to greet her. One of the pit bills caught sight of Puffy from across the street, pulled the 11-year-old boy who was walking him to the ground, and dragged him several feet before the boy released the leash. The pit bull chased Puffy into her yard and attacked and killed her as plaintiff, her children, and the young children attending plaintiff’s licensed daycare program watched helplessly.

Later that day, plaintiff Ted Gaff, Remmington’s fiance and co-owner of Puffy, distraught over the dog’s death, went to the home of defendants Sherry and Ryan Leon, owners of the pit bulls, and threatened to kill their dog. He later became involved in a physical altercation with defendants’ 17-year-old son.

As a result of the March 19, 2003 incident, the pit bill in question was declared a ‘dangerous dog.‘
Plaintiffs alleged that defendants were on notice of their dog’s dangerous propensities, having been previously notified by the Humane Society of an earlier incident in which their two pit bulls got loose and chased a man onto the hood of a car.

Defendants claimed that they took proper precautions to ensure that the dogs would not get loose. They claimed that they had instituted a rule under which the dogs could not be walked by any child without an adult present.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendants filed a cross-complaint against Gaff, claiming that he assaulted them and battered their son. They claimed that Gaff did not come to their home only to threaten their dog, but to threaten them as well. Gaff denied that he assaulted defendants’ son. Instead, he claimed that the boy was incensed at the threats he made to his dogs and threw a punch at him, at which point he simply held the boy’s shoulder to prevent him from throwing another punch.


According to Plaintiff: Plaintiffs claimed that the attack hurt Remmington’s day care business (two parents at trial testified that the attack prompted their decision to remove their children from Remmington’s facility). Remmington claimed she could not take on new clients because of the time she had to spend counseling the children who witnessed the attack. Plaintiffs claimed that they still experience sadness over their dog’s death and that some of their children have nightmares about the event. They claimed that their seven-year-old son, who did not see the attack, still asks where the dog went. Defendants claimed that Gaff’s alleged assault on their son caused family members emotional distress. Their daughter claimed that she still has flashbacks. Plaintiffs denied that the Leon family was suffering any ill after-effects. They specifically claimed that the Leon daughter who testified had earlier claimed that she was not present at the scene until after the alleged assault.


According to Plaintiff: Plaintiffs claimed $130,000 to $150,000 in damages for the day care’s lost business. They also sought $800 in veterinary bills, $1,000 replacement value of the deceased dog, and an unspecified amount for emotional distress. Defendants denied that Remmington lost business due to the attack and claimed that the students left for other reasons, such as starting kindergarten.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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