Postal worker awarded £1,500 compensation after dog attack
A 27 year-old postman from Dalton-in-Furness who was bitten by a dog while on an unfamiliar round
has won a compensation claim of £1,500.
The postman was attacked as he delivered a parcel to an address which had been the scene of a previous attack
by the same dog.
The attack, on 3 September 2012, caused the postman to suffer bite wounds
, recovery from which forced him to take time off work
The attack happened when a young man, later identified as the householders' son, opened the front door to accept the parcel delivery. The dog, a west highland terrier, escaped and bit the postman
on his right leg.
After we were instructed to claim damages by the Communication Workers' Union, postal co-workers of the victim came forward with similar stories
Previous attack – by the same dog
It transpired that the postman's predecessor on that delivery round had been attacked the previous February
by the same 'westie', which is 1 of 2 dogs kept at the property.
"Those dogs were always a threat behind the letter box when mail was being posted," attested the co-worker in a witness statement. "The letter box is quite low so I personally felt threatened when posting
. Subsequently the householder put a cage on the back of the door so that our hands were protected from the dogs."
Following the earlier incident the co-worker was advised by her and our client's employer, the Royal Mail, not to knock at the door with parcels, but to leave a standard card
or to try and deliver to a neighbour's house.
However, our client was officially working a different duty round on the day of his injury. For this reason, and despite the earlier attack, he had little knowledge of the danger
posed by the dog.
Owner was warned
Royal Mail had also contacted the householder after the earlier incident, warning him of the hazard his dog posed
and asking him to keep it under control.
As well as the evidence of our client and the original victim, we obtained confirmation of the dog's aggression
from other Royal Mail employees who had delivered to the same address.
Failed to respond
Since evidence proved that the owner was aware of his dog's more vicious tendencies
, the onus was on him to ensure the animal was secured whenever postal workers were lawfully on his property.
However, he failed to respond to Royal Mail's letters of complaint
and the hazardous situation was allowed to prevail.
In due course the householder's insurers agreed a compensation settlement for our client of £1,500
, in respect of his injury, loss of earnings and other expenses incurred as a result of this incident.