Leash or lawsuit: Dog bite incidents that highlight the cost-effective choice of prevention over lawsuits

Leash or lawsuit: Dog bite incidents that highlight the cost-effective choice of prevention over lawsuits

“Beware: Dog owners!” is a sign that should be in the front yard of every dog owner’s home, particularly those who may overlook keeping their dogs restrained when the delivery driver is at their door. These owners may balk at putting their beloved Fido on a leash, but that’s a better alternative to being slapped with a lawsuit.

Note that different breeds of dogs have different temperaments. Labrador retrievers, beagles, and pugs are considered safe and friendly enough around children. But if you own a pit bull, rottweiler, or German shepherd, keep them away from your front door when expecting a delivery. Out of all the dog breeds, pit bulls inflict the highest number and severity of injuries in the United States, according to a DogsBite.org report.

The following are stories of why dogs and delivery drivers can be a dangerous mix.

When the dog bites, the repercussions sting

Amazon delivery driver Zelda Fleming was doing her rounds on July 21, 2020, in Jacksonville, Florida. She was dropping off a package in Lourdes Drive South when a woman opened her door and her two rottweilers ran out and attacked Zelda. She sustained bites and bruises all over, with two inches of skin ripped from her arm.

Zelda said there was no “Beware of dog” warning sign on the property. She doesn’t understand why the owner had to open the door instead of waiting for Zelda to drop off the package and get back in her vehicle.

Because of that incident, Amazon halted deliveries to the said neighborhood for an indefinite period pending an investigation. Zelda then sought legal action against the household’s occupants.

Grab a bite of pizza, not the pizza delivery person

Back in 2018, retiree John Isles wasn’t enjoying retirement in Florida. Instead, he was doing delivery for Napoli Pizza. At 76 years old, John was still working like a dog.

On October 25 of that year, a dog attacked him at work.

According to the Palm Coast woman who ordered the pizza, when she opened the door to receive her order, her dog Charlie, a pit bull-boxer mix, squeezed between her legs, ran out, and then jumped on John. First responders reported that John’s mouth and cheeks were covered in blood when they arrived at the scene. They weren’t sure if the dog scratched or bit John, but he would need plastic surgery to repair the cuts on his face.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time Charlie displayed aggressive behavior. Three years earlier, Charlie had bitten another dog.

Animal Control eventually stepped in and placed Charlie under quarantine at the Flagler Humane Society.

Who let the dog out?

Here’s another dog-biting incident in Florida. October 6, 2023 is a day that Instacart delivery driver Diana Riveros won’t forget. And thanks to the dashcam video that recorded the attack, neither will we.

Diana was making deliveries at a house in Cooper City. When the door opened, a huge German shepherd leaped out and jumped at her. Diana fell to the ground, but the dog continued to go after her. The woman who answered the door could be seen rushing out and trying to get her dog off Diana. But the dog continued to attack the hapless delivery driver.

Eventually, Diana was able to run back to her vehicle where she called 911.

Diana was rushed to the hospital where she was rushed to surgery immediately. She received over 30 stitches across her arm, hand, foot, and leg. She couldn’t go back to work for several weeks, resulting in a loss of income for her family.

Dog owners should take precautions

Following her harrowing experience, Diana is requesting dog owners to lock their pets when they answer the door. She says no one can predict how a dog will react to other people.

Amazon also has internal guidelines to ensure the safety of its delivery drivers. They ask homeowners to inform them if there are pets at a residence so they can take necessary precautions. Drivers aren’t allowed to enter a property where a dog is present without permission.

Responsible dog owners should take it upon themselves to keep their dogs secured and away from the front door when they’re expecting deliveries. It’s for the protection of their pet, their package, and the delivery driver.

It’s no joke to be attacked by a dog. If you’re in Washington State and need legal representation for personal injury cases, our skilled legal team at Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams are ready to offer their expertise and support. Reach out to us today or visit our offices in Renton for assistance. When it comes to making a case, we’ll make sure you won’t be barking up the wrong tree.