Pit Bull Fatal Attack: Criminal Liability? Civil Liability? Or Both?

Pit-bull

Jacob Bisbee Two year
old Jacob Bisbee was mauled to death by three pit bulls (often considered a
Steven Hayashidangerous breed) owned by his
step-grandfather, Steven Hayashi.  The
tragedy occurred in 2010.  According to Contra Costa County prosecuting attorney Mary Knox:

 

 

  1. Hayashi repeatedly ignored pleas by his wife and Jacob’s
    father to remove his five pit bulls from the home the extended family shared on
    Trailcreek Court
  2. July 22, 2010: Hayashi was designated as the caretaker
    for Jacob and his four year old brother while his wife slept after a night
    shift.
  3. Hayashi went out to play tennis with his son, leaving
    Jacob and the brother unsupervised.
  4. Hayashi did not lock the door to the garage where the
    pit bulls were kept.  He knew the boys
    could uopen the door but they usually stayed in their room.
  5. Jacob wandered into the garage and found three of the
    five pit bulls (the other two were in the yard)

The legal question to be answered is not whether Hayashi
intended for this tragedy to happen but whether the dog attack constituted a
crime.  Hayashi is currently being tried
for involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.  If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years
in prison.

In a jailhouse interview with the San Francisco Chronicle,
Hayashi acknowledged that he had ignored signs which would warn him of the dogs’
dangerous propensities.  Those signs
included one of the dogs killing his Chihuahua.

At the preliminary hearing, Judge Clare Maier said that
there was not enough evidence to support a murder charge because there was “scant
evidence” that Hayashi’s dogs had previously attacked humans.

Hayashi is seeking acquittal and is being represented by
attorney David Cohen.  Over Cohen’s objections,
Knox opened the trial last week by showing photos taken at a hospital of the
little boy’s disfigured body.

Cohen was quoted as saying “The D.A.’s case is all about the
terrible photos and a terrible tragedy and that somebody’s got to pay.  This family and my client have suffered
tremendously.  He certainly didn’t intend
for this to happen.”

This is certainly a tragedy.
Whether Hayashi’s negligence will rise to the level of a guilty verdict
is a question to be decided during this trial.

In civil court, someone in Hayashi’s shoes could be sued for
wrongful death based on both theories of negligence and a statutory
liability
.

In my practice I’ve represented, and continue to represent,
many victims of dog attacks. This is a tragedy that could have, and should have, been avoided.

A California Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective on Accidents


                A
California personal injury case can take on many forms.  If you, or someone you love, has been injured
in any one of the following situations, you may have a personal injury case worth
pursuing. 

  • Car accident 002
  • Bike accident 001
  • Bike accident 003
  • Bus accident 001
  • Train accident 001
  • Vicious dog 001
Vicious dog 001

 

 

  • Assault Injuries
  • Bicycle Accident
  • Bus Accident
  • Car Accident
  • Dangerous Product
  • Defective Product
  • Dog Bite / Animal Attack
  • Elevator / Escalator Accident
  • False Arrest
  • Medical Negligence
  • Motorcycle Accident
  • Nursing Home Neglect / Abuse
  • Pedestrian Accident
  • Railroad Crossing Accident
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Slip & Fall Accident
  • Trip & Fall Accident
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death

Call me to discuss whether you
have a personal injury case.  Consultations are free and unlike a
vicious dog, I won’t bite! (But I will give you my undivided attention).

LS 2012

Dog Bites: Emotional and Physical Devastation


Vicious dog Being bitten or attacked by a dog can prove to be one
of the most devastating experiences of a person's life. You may find
that, after being bitten, the love that you once had for dogs suddenly
turns to fear and mistrust. The emotional and physical scarring that
result from a dog bite oftentimes requires extensive medical treatment,
scar removal or reduction and psychological counseling to restore you to
the person that you were before this unsettling event.

There are nearly 5 million Americans that are bitten each year by
dogs with almost one million causing injuries which require medical
attention.

Important Links

Victim's Rights

Vicious dog 002 In California, if you, or your child, are the victim of a dog bite or attack, you are
entitled to compensation for your hospital and medical expenses (past,
present and future), loss of earnings (past, present and future) and the
pain, suffering, fear, embarrassment and humiliation that you may have
experienced as a result of this unfortunate and often life-altering
experience. It is our job, as your attorney, to find the responsible
party or parties and seek out the available insurance coverage which is
available to compensate you. It is not uncommon for a dog owner to deny
insurance coverage for the devastation that his or her dog has inflicted
upon you. It is also not uncommon for that denial of insurance coverage
to be false for a variety of reasons.

It is our experience at the Law Offices of Lowell Steiger that many
dog owners initially deny (1) that their dog even bit or attacked the
person and/or (2) that they have an insurance policy that covers the
event. However, aggressive representation of clients in such situations
uncovers the truth and affords you the justice to which you are
entitled.

In California, there are special laws that protect the victims of dog
bite attacks. Contrary to popular belief, there is no "one free bite"
doctrine in California. In particular, California Civil Code
§3342(a)
states

Vicious dog 003 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. A person is lawfully upon
the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section
when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon
him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of
the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation,
express or implied, of the owner.

Questions?

Concerns? 

For a Free Consultation please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger
immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without
video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the
Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

Dog Bites: Physical and Emotional Devastation

Dog Being bitten or attacked by a dog can prove to be one of the most devastating experiences of a person’s life. You may find that, after being bitten, the love that you once had for dogs suddenly turns to fear and mistrust. The emotional and physical scarring that result from a dog bite oftentimes requires extensive medical treatment, scar removal or reduction and psychological counseling to restore you to the person that you were before this unsettling event.

There are nearly 5 million Americans that are bitten each year by dogs with almost one million causing injuries which require medical attention.

In California, if you are the victim of a dog bite or attack, you are entitled to compensation for your hospital and medical expenses (past, present and future), loss of earnings (past, present and future) and the pain, suffering, fear, embarrassment and humiliation that you may have experienced as a result of this unfortunate and often life-altering experience. It is our job, as your attorney, to find the responsible party or parties and seek out the available insurance coverage which is available to compensate you. It is not uncommon for a dog owner to deny insurance coverage for the devastation that his or her dog has inflicted upon you. It is also not uncommon for that denial of insurance coverage to be false for a variety of reasons.

It is our experience at the Law Offices of Lowell Steiger that many dog owners initially deny (1) that their dog even bit or attacked the person and/or (2) that they have an insurance policy that covers the event. However, aggressive representation of clients in such situations uncovers the truth and affords you the justice to which you are entitled.

In California, there are special laws that protect the victims of dog bite attacks. Contrary to popular belief, there is no "one free bite" doctrine in California. In particular, California Civil Code §3342(a) 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. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com