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Wrongful death lawsuit reinstated after dog bite death

Dogs may be "man's best friend," but because of negligent owners many of them end up injuring or killing innocent people. A wrongful death lawsuit against a dog warden in West Virginia was recently reinstated by the state Supreme Court of Appeals. The court found that the judge on the case wrongfully dismissed the lawsuit in 2016.

The lawsuit was brought by the victim's wife after the victim was mauled by multiple American Pit Bull Terriers as he took a walk around his neighborhood. The man died from injuries related to the attack.

The dogs resided in a local woman's home and four of them belonged to her son who also lived there. One of the dogs belonged to someone else, but was under the care of her son at the time of the attack. The dogs were later euthanized and the woman's son pled guilty to nine misdemeanors.

The victim's wife filed the lawsuit claiming negligence for letting the dogs roam freely, and for wrongful death. When the motion to dismiss filed by the county was granted, the wife appealed to the Supreme Court. She was then allowed to file an amended complaint. The county then filed a motion seeking summary judgment, which was granted due to insufficient evidence. The final dismissal was on June 2, 2016. The wife appealed again, which is when the Supreme Court reversed the summary judgment order and vacated the dismissal. With the lawsuit now reinstated, there is a chance for the victim's wife to recover damages and get justice for her husband's death.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Supreme Court reinstates lawsuit involving pit bull attack, death," Kyla Asbury, May 19, 2017

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