Richard “Hutch” Barry, 59, was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in Selma, Fresno County, California. According to a report in The Fresno Bee, the fatal dog attack occurred in a neighborhood near Goldridge and Balboa streets, where the dogs escaped from a nearby home and attacked the man while he was walking. Selma police officials identified the breed of dogs involved in the attack as English bulldogs.
The Bee reports that Ron Barry and his wife, Teresa, witnessed the attack while passing by in a car. Teresa Barry was bitten while trying to defend the victim. Police continue to investigate the case before forwarding it to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges against the dogs’ owners. According to the report, nearly 46 people raised money for Richard Barry’s funeral.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Richard Barry for their devastating loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Dog Bite Statistics
In 2020, there were 46 dog bite related fatalities, according to DogsBite.org, a nonprofit that collects data from media and police reports. In 2020, eight deadly dog attacks resulted in criminal charges. Illinois led all states in lethal dog attacks with six deaths in 2020, while Florida had five deaths and California, Georgia, and Louisiana each had three dog bite fatalities.
The nonprofit says dog bites were underreported in California and Texas in 2020. Dogs bite more than 4.5 million people each year in the U.S., and one in five (more than 800,000) receive medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of all dog bite victims are children.
Laws and Liability Issues
California has a strict liability statute when it comes to dog attacks. This means dog owners are “liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place” including the owner’s property “and regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Injured dog bites victims can seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Families that have lost loved ones may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent dog owner seeking compensation for their tremendous losses. An experienced California dog bite lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.