Fatal Florida Dog Attack Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of Robert J. Klatch has filed a Florida wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the pit bull that attacked him on February 11, 2009. Klatch, an 83-year-old Port St. Lucie man, died more than two months after the injury accident.

According to the St. Lucie County wrongful death complaint, Klatch was riding in a golf cart in the Cascades when a pit bull named Buddy, owned by Jane and Harvey Cutler, attacked his shih tzu, who was running next to to him. Buddy reportedly was not leashed and was “running loose” at the time.

Buddy then attacked Klatch, who had been thrown from the cart and was trying to save his dog. He died on April 21, 2009 from injuries he sustained during the Florida dog attack and fall accident.

Klatch’s family is suing the Cutlers, Castle Management, and Cascade at St. Lucie West Residents’ Association, and their respective insurers. The plaintiffs contend that the leash laws and dog weight limits in the subdivision’s covenants should have been upheld.

Dog Bite Injuries
Injuries from a dog attack can be very serious. Nerve damage, disfigurement, maul injuries, internal injuries, facial injuries, broken bones, and permanent scarring are some of the injuries that can result. In Florida, it doesn’t matter whether or not the dog has injured someone in the past or there was other evidence to indicate that the dog could prove dangerous to others. A dog owner can be held liable for injuries inflicted by his/her dog.

In the US, about 16 people are killed each year because they were bitten or mauled by a dog. Another 800,000 people a year require medical attention for their dog bite injuries.

Wrongful death suit filed over Port St. Lucie dog attack, TC Palm, October 11, 2010
Dog Bite: Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Related Web Resource:
Florida Dog Bite and Dangerous Dog Laws, Animal Legal & Historical Center