A 17-year-old Zion boy received a $1.125 million settlement Monday after being attacked by a dog while riding his bike.
The settlement was approved by Judge Diane Winter in the Circuit Court of Lake County. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, it is the largest dog bite settlement published in Illinois history.
Previously, the largest dog bit settlement in the state was $835,000.
On June 29, 2011 the Plaintiff, 15-years-old at the time, 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 violently pulled the Plaintiff off his bike and onto the street. The dog continued to attack The Plaintiff until a neighbor rushed to the scene and removed the dog by burning a lit cigarette on the dog’s nose. The Plaintiff was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room and spent a week in the hospital to be treated for his injuries.
The attack left the boy with traumatic lacerations and puncture wounds to legs, thigh, buttocks, arms, shoulder and head. The bite wound on his right arm was roughly five inches deep and the young teen had to undergo surgery for his injuries.
“This was an alarming incident that should not have happened,” said Patrick Salvi, the boy's lawyer. “Dog owners need to be responsible for the animals they own, and this owner was extremely negligent on several levels. Since this horrific incident, our client no longer feels safe being outside or around dogs.”
The defendant in the case is Eddie Diaz. He received four citations from the Zion Police Department for the dog attack.
According to the Lake County Animal Control records, Diaz’s dog had bitten another person and another dog before this attack occurred. The dog was euthanized following the attack. Records also show there had been eight 911 calls made for animal complaints involving Diaz.