Photo Credit: Daily Mail
Valentin Herrera, the 76-year-old man who was brutally attacked by two dogs in Lincoln Heights on Feb. 2, has died from his injuries. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, two pit bull-type dogs mauled Herrera and his little dog, Dodger, just a block away from the man’s home. The little dog instantly died. Herrera was severely injured and had to undergo brain and arm surgeries. But doctors were unable to serve him.
The victim’s son, Luis Herrera, said the dogs pulled his father down causing him to hit the back of his head and suffer a traumatic brain injury. The family has said they don’t blame the dogs, but their owner who raised them and allowed them to escape from the property. The family has called for the dogs to be put down because they pose a danger to neighbors and the community. Another neighbor, Stephanie Grezelle, told CBS that the same dogs had also killed her therapy dog in front of her two young children. It is not clear if the dogs will be put down. The dogs’ owners have said they are heartbroken over the tragedy.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Valentin Herrera for their tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
California’s Strict Liability Statute
Based on news reports, it appears that the Herrera was walking his dog when the pit bulls escaped from their owner’s yard and attacked. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners are responsible for injuries, damages and losses their pets cause.
California Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Dog Attacks and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When dog owners fail to restrain their pets or care for them properly, they could be held responsible for attacks that occur as a result of such negligence. In such cases, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled wrongful death cases relating to dog bites will be able to help victims’ families seek justice and fair compensation for their losses.