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Shocking Dog Attack Results in More Than $500,000 in Damages

A man who was mauled by two dogs for more than an hour in 2010 has received $563,000 in compensation from an arbitrator. The owner of the dogs in the New Jersey case was found 85 percent liable, and the landlord 15 percent liable for the serious injuries the man sustained in the dog attack.

The vicious attack took place near the break of dawn in July 2010. An immigrant from Nigeria, then 40 years old, was working an overnight shift as a factory security guard. On site, the factory owner kept two dogs in a chain link enclosure at the factory, and that night the two dogs had escaped.

The man was just getting off shift when he heard growling coming from the hallway and, before he had a chance to react, the dogs were on him.

"They jumped at me. I was trying to fight. I was trying to defend myself but they were biting me all over my body," he told a reporter for the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

He also said that he fought "for almost an hour before police came to rescue me."

The damage was extensive. He was taken to a hospital in a coma-like state with dog bites over most of his body. He was intubated and unconscious for 10 days. He now has permanent scarring, muscle damage, a loss of feeling in his arms and a terror or dogs. He couldn't work for six months, and he still has a hard time working after losing sensation in his arms.

According to his attorney, the arbitrator's award of $563,000 was one of the largest dog bite settlements in New Jersey history. From the injured security guard, the money served the crucial purposes of paying for his medical expenses and supporting his family in Nigeria while he could not work.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year -- and 885,000 of those people end up needing medical treatment. Tragically, around 65 percent of those brought to emergency rooms after dog bites are children between 5 and 9.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "$500k dog bite settlement sheds light on victim-friendly laws in N.J.," Julia Terruso, Feb. 2, 2013

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