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Fatal dog bite case appealed to West Virginia Supreme Court

There are many people that own dogs in Charlotte and most of these owners act in a responsible manner. However, sometimes dog owners fail to acknowledge that their dogs are overly aggressive and may even dismiss concerns from neighbors. This can lead to a personal injury situation when a person is attacked without provocation by those dogs. If the attack involves several dogs, the victim may even die from their injuries.

This is the case for a man who died after being attacked in Monroe County by an unknown number of American Pit Bull Terriers. The terriers belonged to the man's neighbor and complaints had been filed by the victim and his neighbors with the county. The man's widow is trying to hold the county's dog warden and the county commission responsible in an apparent wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the commission and the warden failed to protect her husband from the dogs by neglecting to patrol the neighborhood and for not making the dogs' owners pay taxes on the animals.

The commission and the warden claim that they are not liable under state law. The matter is now before the West Virginia Supreme Court after the case was dismissed by the county court. If the court decides that the county commission and the dog warden are not immune under current laws, then the case will likely be returned to the county court and allowed to continue.

When a person's life is lost due to the negligence of another person or their animals, the family has the option of pursuing the other party for compensation. This compensation can be used to cover medical expenses and other challenges caused by the fatality. In such cases, it may be prudent to speak with an experienced attorney.

State Journal, "WV Supreme Court hears case involving 'vicious dogs'," Andrea Lannom, Sep. 5, 2013

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