Tuesday, May 20, 2008
1.8 Million Award Approved
UPDATE 05/20/08: Daniel Decembre will receive $1.8 million dollars from the Orange County School Board after being severely mauled by a pit bull-mix on March 4, 2003 while on the premises of Ridgewood Park Elementary School. Senate Bill 54 was signed by the governor on May 19, 2008. School officials acknowledged that in the three years before the attack, Ridgewood Elementary had called county animal control 19 times to have dogs removed from the campus.
Read the final bill passed by the Florida legislature and signed by the governor.
An act relating to the Orange County School Board; providing for the relief of Daniel Decembre, a minor, by and through his court- appointed guardian; providing for an appropriation to compensate Daniel Decembre for injuries and damages he sustained; providing legislative intent; providing a limitation on the payment of fees and costs; providing an effective date.04/18/08: Awaits Legislative Ruling archived
WHEREAS, on March 4, 2003, a dog came onto the school premises of Ridgewood Park Elementary School, located in Orange County, Florida, and attacked Daniel Decembre, causing him serious and permanent injuries, and as a result of this dog attack, Daniel has had to undergo several correc- tive surgeries, and
WHEREAS, the Orange County School Board and its agents and employ- ees had advance notice of the dangerousness of dogs entering the school premises of Ridgewood Park Elementary School and had reported several incidents of loose dogs on the campus of the school to the Orange County Animal Services, and
WHEREAS, the Orange County School Board and its agents and employ- ees knew or should have known that dogs on the school premises of Ridge- wood Park Elementary School would and could harm one of its students, such as Daniel Decembre, and
WHEREAS, the Orange County School Board and its agents and employ- ees failed to secure the premises of Ridgewood Park Elementary School from dogs entering where Daniel Decembre was injured, and
WHEREAS, as a direct and proximate result of negligence by the Orange County School Board and its agents and employees, Daniel Decembre suf- fered serious physical and mental injuries; will continue to experience men- tal and physical pain and suffering, disability, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life; and will require additional medical care, surgeries, psychi- atric care, and hospitalization, continuing beyond the age of majority, and ... (Read in full)
Orlando, FL - The Orange County School Board was ordered by the Florida Senate to pay $1.8 million to the parents of a boy badly mauled by a 50-pound pit bull-labrador mix at Ridgewood Elementary School in 2003. Daniel Decembre was severely injured as an 8-year-old while on school grounds. The dog terribly mauled his eyelids, cheeks and chin. Daniel lost much of his right ear and later had to have his left ear amputated. The measure still has to pass the House.
Learn more about the attack details in the Special Master's Final Report:
On March 4, 2003, after regular classes had ended at Ridgewood Park Elementary School in Orlando, Daniel Decembre, then 8 years old, was talking with a friend while waiting for his after-school tutoring class to begin. Daniel saw a large dog running straight for him and he began to run toward a playground area where there were teachers and other students. Daniel tripped and fell down as he ran across a broad drainage swale. The dog jumped on top of Daniel and began to maul him, biting him repeatedly on his face and head.
A teacher drove her car over to the area and tried without success to knock the dog away with the car. Other teachers threw things at the dog. One teacher beat the dog with an umbrella until it finally stopped its attack.
Daniel’s injuries were extensive. He was taken via air ambulance to the hospital. He had deep lacerations of both cheeks, his eyelids, and chin. He lost much of his right ear and his left ear had to be amputated. He has undergone four subsequent surgeries to repair the damage to his face and eyes.
Daniel suffered permanent physical injuries to his face and head. He will need several more surgeries and a prosthetic ear implant which must be replaced every 2 to 5 years (to account for his growth) until he reaches physical maturity. He has recurring pain on the left side of his head, some facial nerve damage, and the tear duct of his left eye continually runs.
The incident also caused Daniel lasting psychological trauma. He has frequent nightmares and is now afraid to be near dogs. The incident, subsequent surgeries, and his recovery caused Daniel to fall a year behind in school. Unfortunately, he is regularly teased at school due to his disfigurement.
The dog belonged to a man who lived in a house adjacent to the school grounds. He said that the dog bolted through the front door when his daughter came into the house. There was no explanation in the record for why the dog’s owner did not immediately run after the dog and arrive sooner to prevent or to help stop the dog’s attack on Daniel. The evidence only shows that owner arrived after the attack had ended and took the dog back to his house. The owner was issued a citation and he paid a fine. The pit bull was put to sleep.
In the 3 years preceding the attack on Daniel, officials at Ridgewood Park Elementary had called Orange County Animal Services 19 times to have dogs removed from the school campus. None of the prior incidents had involved a dog bite or attack on a student or adult ... (Read in full)
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| 4/17/2008 7:07 AM |
Last year NY city was liable for a $5 Million judgement when one of it's police officers picked up a stray pit off the streets and gave it to a family. The subsequently mauled one of the kids and the city was on the hook.
I don't understand why the liability doesn't extend to breeders or agencies that adopt out the dogs.
| 4/17/2008 8:46 AM |
I would also like to add that I feel this is a form of child abuse; owners of dangerous dogs who, time and again, let them run loose...especially in a neighborhood full of kids.....are no better than pedophiles. These people are deliberately putting children in harms way. If you drove drunk and ran over a child with your car, you would end up in prison. But it's OK to get a pit bull and let it run loose and maul or kill a neighborhood child? It doesn't make any sense. People who own these dogs need to be in prison.
There is no real incentive NOT to own these dogs...nothing happens to the owners when the dogs maul or kill. Society and the victims keep picking up the tab, the owners slink away, and the breeders keep making money. It's a system that needs to be fixed.
| 4/18/2008 6:31 AM |
The net costs of Pit Bulls to communities keeps adding up, six figure maulings, crowding the shelters, killing dogs/livestock and now judgements....
They do however, provide valuable marksmanship practice for law enforcement.
| 4/18/2008 5:17 PM |
Police marksmanship practice is right! In an older thread about the police gun range in Oceanside, one area resident complained, "The police don't go for accuracy. They just pump as many bullets as they can into whatever they shoot at. Take a certain pitbull that got shot in the foot yesterday. Couldn't even shoot that right."
Clearly, people want pit bulls shot properly, but I'd have to argue this person has never tried to hit a moving pit bull with a side arm. Some departments lack a standard pit bull protocol, but more and more officers will go 10-97 and emerge with a shotgun. That's evidence of good training and/or experience.
| 4/25/2008 3:46 PM |
Do we know what happened to the owner of this dog? Were their ANY consequences at all? Drunk drivers are put in prison for hurting people, even if the intention was not there. If you want to own a pit or pit mix, you are already consciously making a decision to keep a breed of dog that can pose a danger to your neighbors. When you subsequently don't contain the dog, you have acted consciously to put your neighbors at risk.
Therefore, criminal penalties should be brought against anyone whose dog makes an unprovoked attack on a person, if the dog is of a breed known to guard or fight, regardless of the dogs previous behavior. "Intent" can be proven by the decision to own that breed.
| 4/25/2008 4:38 PM |
We Know This Much: Click Here
Owners Clyde and Gloria Salle said Solomon bolted from the house through the front door. Usually, the dog is chained in the backyard, Clyde Salle said.
Clyde Salle said the dog has never bitten anyone in his family. “I don’t know how to tell Daniel’s dad and mom I’m sorry,” he said. “I would never have intentionally left that dog out. It was an accident.”
An archive search will need to be done for more.
| 11/13/2008 10:05 PM |
The reason I am writing is because I actually have a situation that I have no Idea how to handle. I am a 27 year old native Floridean and have endured an ever long and lasting court battle. The situation is I was a Realtor in Volusia County florida and was out previewing property for a client of mine. At the time of the incident, I was by myself walking a piece of vacant land for my clients when I was mulled by 1 pure breed pitbull, 1 rotweiler and 4 other mixed breed pit bulls. (totaling 6 dogs) I was luckily saved by two men that were passing by in the midst of the attack and was rushed to the hospital by EVAC with abrasions to my right leg, buttox, left arm, back and head. This incident occurred on December the 11, 2007. After animal control was able to sieze the 6 dogs and find the owner who there in had more than 20 mixed breed and pure breed dogs on his property I filed a civil case against him to recollect for the medical bills that were endured from the attack. We made it to our first court date in February and he was fined on each occurrence for failure to restrain, vaccinate and others it was about 16 citations total. Volusia County collected their money but the day prior to our deposition in April the man filed bankruptcy. Obviously that put me at a stay with my civil suit and therein I had to hire a bankruptcy attorney to try and get relif from the stay. Throughout this battle, I have been to not only the Sheriffs department to collect not only one police report, but two as well as other documents from the courts public records about this man and wife with regards to their history. I have found about 11 total cases for failure to restrain, dogs attacking livestock and killing these animals as well as livestock at large dating from 1994 to recent. The answer I get from animal control is that he is allowed to have as many dogs as he would like to have because he is on agriculturally zoned property. He doesn't have to have home owners insurance because he owns his property out right but when you drive a vehicle on the road you are legally required to have automotive insurance right? What's the difference? I wasn't on his property and his dogs weren't on his property they were roaming free and clear of his property so why not have insurance when you have dangerous breeds of dogs? So Legally he has the right to abade this suit because he filed bankruptcy. I understand that this happens every day but I was not allowed to continue with my case and I thought in America that you were allowed to have a trial? I thought that the US constution was in line to help uphold americans rights. I am beginning to feel that this will never be fully put to rest for me and it's not about the money factor as it is that I have a 3 year old child at which at the time of the incident was 2 years of age. I almost had him with me that day. I turned around to go and pick him up from school because I couldn't find the property and was going to go back and search for the property with him as we had done previously. I found the property luckily but imagine having 6 dogs attacking you ripping your clothes off as you are running down a highway trying to evade them. At the time of the attack it was 4:30 PM and the kids were getting ready to get off the bus in that area. The police officer that came to the site was attacked by the dogs, imagine if this reoccurs it could be much worse the 12th time around and so the court will do what? Dismiss him again after they collect their fees of course. I recieved word from my attorney on November the 10th that the middle district bankruptcy court allowed him to recieve his bankruptcy with me included because according to the chapter 7 guidelines it has to be considered "malicious Intent." They didn't even here the rest of my case that this has been an ongoing situation for this man and his 11 instances. I would consider that malicious intent if you knew that you had prior problems with these animals and you chose not to deal with it that in my eyes is malicious. Corrent me if I am wrong please. I need help, guidance, something. Because of the attack, I have since found out I have bulging discs in my back L4 & L5 and they are hitting a nerve which is causing problems in my leg and upper back, I quit selling Real estate full time and at the time after quit all together and have since gotten back in part time effective June 2008. I just don't want this to happen again and I have written Ric Keller, Andy Kelly and many other Florida voted in congressman, senators and representatives. Nobody will help to try and change laws. It just seems to me that criminals get away with more than victims get help. Please help.....I want to stop this non sense and change the way our laws are read. Where is our justice system and where does it really prevail?