Man Claims He Fell Down Hill While Fighting Off Four Unleashed Dogs in Sacramento Dog Bite Case

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.)

INJURIES: Shelly went to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a nondisplaced fractured wrist, a dislocated biceps tendon and a full thickness tear of his rotator cuff.


On Sept. 17, 2007, plaintiff Matthew Shelly, 58, a clothing store proprietor, was confronted by four unleashed dogs while standing near a retired landfill behind his Sacramento home. He allegedly fell down a 40-foot hill during the incident.

Shelly sued the dogs’ owners, Renee Sean and Chelsey Temple, for negligence and strict liability. Plaintiffs’ counsel alleged that Shelly was at the top of a hill when the dogs came rushing toward him from the base of the hill. The lawyer asserted that the dogs attacked Shelly, and that Sean’s dog bit Shelly.

Plaintiff’s counsel noted that, despite the fact that Shelly had tried to ward the dogs off by pushing and kicking at them, he fell three times during the brief melee, ending up at the base of the hill.

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

The defendants denied that the dogs were ever near Shelly. An eyewitness testified that the dogs never got anywhere closer than 40 feet to Shelly, and defense counsel opined that Shelly’s fall had nothing to do with any aggression or activity by the unleashed dogs.

Plaintiffs’ counsel countered that there were records indicating that the defense’s eyewitness was active in community efforts to thwart attempts to restrict dog access to public lands for people who wanted to take out their dogs off-leash.

Shelly’s wrist was placed in a splint, and the biceps and shoulder injuries required arthroscopic surgery. Shelly underwent 20 sessions of physical therapy and between 10 and 15 chiropractic sessions.

Plaintiffs’ counsel sought $41,000 for the medical lien and unspecified damages for past and future pain and suffering. The lawyer waived Shelly’s wage loss claim

Shelly’s spouse made a loss of consortium claim.

The defense didn’t dispute Shelly’s injuries at mediation.
RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $100,000

The parties settled at mediation for $100,000.

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

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