Jul 29, 2013 Zion teen receives $1.125 million after bullmastiff attack

Zion - A Zion teen attacked by a dog received the largest settlement for a dog attack in Illinois history, according to Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, a personal injury firm.

The firm obtained a $1.125 million settlement July 29 on behalf of a 17-year-old Zion boy who was attacked by a dog while riding his bike. The settlement was approved by Judge Diane E. Winter in the circuit court of Lake County. Previously, the largest dog bite settlement reached in Illinois was $835,000, also in Lake county.

On June 29, 2011, then 15 year old Jordon Bankston, was riding his bike home with a group of friends, when a 120-pound Bullmastiff named Kong escaped from a fenced-in-yard in Zion. Kong attacked the 100 lb boy and mauled him for at least 10 minutes. Two adults could not pull the dog off until someone used a lit cigarette to burn the dog's nose. The boy spent a week in the hospital to be treated for traumatic puncture and laceration injuries to his legs, thigh, buttocks arms, shoulder and head which required surgery.  The boy has lasting psychological trauma.

“This was an alarming incident that should not have happened,” said Patrick Salvi, a lawyer with the firm. “Dog owners need to be responsible for the animals they own."  Kong has previously bitten another person and an animal and eight 911 calls were logged regarding Kong.

The owner, EDDIE DIAZ, was insured to $1.3 million by American Family Insurance.  The attack was not reported online at the time it occurred.

In a side bar, the News Sun notes animal bite statistics for Lake county.  Dogs bit roughly 1500 people and about 580 domestic animals were bitten by other domestic animals or wild animals.

New legislation passed this year allows county animal control to impound animals immediately after biting and holding them, at the owner's expense, until a dangerous/vicious dog hearing is held.  This new law pertains only to unincorporated Lake county.  Residents living in incorporated cities are not protected by this new ordinance and a dangerous dog can remain with the owner until a hearing.

Read more:
Lake County Journal
News Sun

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