£100K compensation after dog attack forces postal worker to quit job
A postal worker forced to retire with severe injuries to her hand
after a vicious dog attack
has won £100,000 compensation
from the animal's owner.
In May 2009 our client was on a new postal round in Shotley Bridge, Consett. As she pushed mail through the letterbox at an address, the 3 letters were snatched so violently from behind the front door that her whole hand was pulled through
Before she was able to release her hand, our client was bitten several times by the occupant's dog
. Since the dog was hidden behind the closed door and there was no warning sign
on the property, our client had no reason to believe an animal was present.
When she went to A&E at University Hospital, Durham, our client was told that she had an open dislocation and tendon and ligament damage
to the middle finger and index finger of her left hand. She also suffered injury to the top of her hand, which needed surgery
So severe were her injuries that she was unable to continue her job at Royal Mail
, and she was forced into early retirement due to ill-health
According to another postal worker who delivers to the same address, the dog has a history of destroying mail
posted through the letterbox – a fact which further strengthened our client's already powerful case
We advised the homeowner that she should have been on notice concerning her dog's habit of attacking the post, and that she should have installed a wire basket
around the letterbox to catch the mail.
Our client's claim was based on the homeowner's failure to stop her dog, which was acting territorially and of a violent disposition, from posing a foreseeable risk of injury
in accordance with the Animals Act. We also alleged breach of statutory duty
under the Occupiers' Liability Act.
Luckily the dog owner had insured her pet
and fault was accepted by her insurance company. Our client, who recovered £100,000 in compensation
for her life-changing injuries, later wrote to Simpson Millar: "Thank you so very much for all the help you have given me since my accident and for getting the settlement figure that you knew I deserved