FATAL DOG ATTACK, HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE PAYS POLICY LIMITS DESPITE ANIMAL INJURY EXCLUSION IN POLICY
Our client was taking her morning walk when she was attacked and mauled to death by two pit bulls that were allowed to run loose in a rural neighborhood in Naples, Florida.The dogs’ owner, once she realized what had occurred, rather than call the police, drove the dogs 40 miles away into the woods and abandoned them in a effort to avoid her responsibility. Through extensive investigation, we found one of the dogs and conducted DNA testing, linking the animal to dog saliva found on our client’s body. In addition dental impressions of the bite marks taken from the deceased’s body were matched to the dogs teeth As with most homeowners insurance policies, dog bite injuries were excluded from coverage. However, due to the egregious nature of the fact of the case, and a legal challenge to the validity to the animal injury exclusion in the policy,shortly prior to trial the insurance company capitulated and paid their entire policy limit.