Woman (32) who was attacked by ‘vicious’ Great Dane settles in damages claim

Pitbull Terrier

30 January 2015

A 32-year-old homemaker, who suffered injuries to her body when she was attacked by a “vicious” dog three years ago, has settled, on undisclosed terms, a €38,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court.

Lorraine Thompson today told the court that she had been visiting a friend, Lindsay, at Hampton Wood Road, Hampton Wood, Finglas, Dublin, in June 2011, when the accident happened.

Thompson said she had been walking to her car with her friend when the dog, a Great Dane, suddenly jumped in front of them and attacked her. She claimed the dog grabbed her right arm between its jaws and clamp down on it.

She told her barrister, Dermot Francis Sheehan, that her sister, Pamela, was at the time living on a ground floor apartment close to where they had been standing, and she and Lindsay banged on her door, shouting to be let in.

Thompson, of Marewood Crescent, Ballymun, Dublin, had managed to extricate herself from the dog’s jaws when her sister opened the door and her friend pushed her inside the apartment.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the Gardaí were called and Thompson was taken by ambulance to the Mater Hospital, in Dublin, where wounds to her right arm were cleaned and sutured. 

She had suffered pain and bruising to her back for several weeks and the wounds had left several scars on her arm. The court heard that the dog had later been put down.

Thompson sued the owner of the apartment, William O’Dwyer, of Blackberry Lane, Delgany, Co Wicklow, for negligence and breach of duty.

She had initially also sued the dog owner, Henry Freeman , with a previous address at Hampton Wood Road, Hampton Wood, Finglas, but the court heard that legal proceedings against him were being discontinued as he could not be traced.

O’Dwyer, who denied liability in a full defence, claimed that he was not aware that his tenant, Freeman, had a dog in the apartment. His barrister, said the incident had been unfortunate, but had nothing to do with Mr O’Dwyer.

Following a suggestion by Judge Groarke to the parties to try and solve the matter, Mr Sheehan told the court that Ms Thompson’s claim had resolved. The judge struck out the case.

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