Partner David Baez, of Willens & Baez, located in Chicago, secured the highest recorded dog bite award, verdict or settlement, in the history of Illinois. Our client, a 59-year-old woman, was walking her female Labrador through her own neighborhood when three unattended dogs approached her. Our client, sensing uneasiness about the presence and size, of two of those dogs, began calling out to see if there was a dog-sitter or owner anywhere in the vicinity. Within seconds, one of the dogs, a male, began to show signs of aggression with her dog when she attempted to pull her dog, by the leash, to safety.
What began as a peaceful walk though her neighborhood, eventually turned into the most frightening moments of our client’s life. The dog quickly turned its aggression toward our client and ferociously attacked her, locking its jaw on her right forearm (immediately fracturing her radius and ulna) and dragging her half a block, for what was an agonizing extended time period. Several neighbors, responding to her terrifying screams, appeared but were too afraid to physically intervene. It was not until the owner of the dog appeared, several minutes later, that the dog released its grip on her right arm.
Our client suffered serious injuries as a result of the dog attack, including two comminuted fractures requiring hardware installation, as well as severe disfigurement requiring skin grafts from her own thigh. On top of the permanent physical injuries, our client suffered traumatic emotional injuries which are still extremely crippling, almost two years later. Every time our client sees her right arm, takes her dog for a walk, or wears a short sleeve shirt, she is reminded of that horrendous morning. Through aggressive litigation, empathetic advocacy, and carefully curated strategic decision making, we were able to see to it that justice was fully served, and our client was fairly and reasonably compensated with this record-breaking settlement.