Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Police dog bite attack on innocent bystander settles for $225,000 in Washington

Police dog bite attacks on innocent bystanders frequently happen, but the magnitude of the problem remains largely unknown.  The reason why innocent bystanders are frequently attacked is not difficult to understand considering the nature of attack trained police dogs. Namely, when these kinds of dogs are deployed in the field by their handlers, their goal driven to find a human to attack, and occasionally the human is not the suspect they were tracking. In short, these kinds of dogs when deployed in the field frequently make mistakes. And these mistakes can be costly. Invariably, lawsuits are filed by the victims, and the damages awarded can be substantial. A recently settled lawsuit against Pierce County in the state of Washington serves as an example. In 2011 a canine utilized by the Lakewood Police Department attacked a man who was taking his walk. Subsequently he underwent surgery. The man settled his claim against Pierce County for $225,000  in February 2014. Originally, the lawsuit asks for damages in the amount of $3 million. Not surprisingly, this same dog who attacked this man had a history of attacking other people previous to the incident. According to officials, the dog was removed from duty.

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