Feb 18, 2010 Lawsuit: Elgin Preacher's Pit Bull Attacks Visting St. Charles Woman

Elgin - A St. Charles woman has filed suit against an Elgin preacher, claiming she and her daughter were mauled by his "vicious" pit bull.The unprovoked attack happened May 10, 2009, when the dog "slipped his collar" while plaintiff Kathleen Callahan and her daughter were visiting in a backyard on the 2000 block of Torino Street in Elgin, according to the lawsuit filed in Kane County on Wednesday.

The dog charged and attacked the plaintiff's adult daughter, scratching and biting her forearms, and then butted its head into Callahan's knee, causing injury to both women, the suit says.

The dog's owners are identified as Epworth United Methodist Church Pastor David Newhouse and his wife Christy, who are each named as defendants along with Epworth and the United Methodist Church.

David Newhouse, who was unaware of the suit, referred questions Thursday to church attorney Alfred Kirkland, who did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The complaint says Newhouse and his wife, who live next door to the plaintiff's daughter, acquired the American Staffordshire terrier from a humane society or rescue shelter several years ago, and that it routinely escaped its leash and acted aggressively with people.

The suit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, claims both the Newhouses and the church, which owns the property where they live, ignored the animal's "viciousness and its prior contact when running free and unsupervised throughout the neighborhood."

As a result of the attack, Callahan says, she suffered "severe and permanent personal injuries, both internally and externally," which will affect her ability to lead a normal life and left her with medical bills.

The case goes to a judge May 6 at the courthouse in Geneva.

Read more:
Daily Herald

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