9/19/14 Bristol Superior Court:
After a three day Trial in the New Bedford Superior Court, a jury rendered a $100,000.00 verdict for the Plaintiff who was represented by Attorney Sharon Sybel from Brian Cunha & Associates, against the owner of a pit bull whose dog caused serious injuries to the Plaintiff .
The incident occurred on April 5, 2011 when the female Plaintiff,46, a tenant of the Defendant, went to the first floor apartment to return borrowed keys. After the Plaintiff knocked on the door, the Defendant’s girlfriend opened the door and the Defendant’s two pit bulls ran out into the hallway where the Plaintiff was standing. One of the dogs bit the Plaintiff on the right foot causing injury.
Critical to the case were photographs of the Plaintiff’s injured foot taken just after the incident. (As in many cases, prior to surgery, the orthopedic surgeon took several photographs of the Plaintiff’s foot that were shown to the jury during the course of the Trial.) Attorney Sybel was able to secure those photos for trial. The impact of these photographs undoubtably aided the jury in understanding the significant pain and suffering sustained by the Plaintiff which was reflected in their verdict.( The lesson to be learned is that photos are very important and can speak a thousand words)
The Defendants defense at trial was that the defendant was not liable as prior to the attack the Plaintiff had teased the pit bulls. The Defendant also attempted to introduce evidence of the Plaintiff’s prior criminal record and character to negatively influence the jury.
Crucially in this case Attorney Sybel was able to successfully convince the judge that the plaintiffs criminal record was irrelevant to the real issue before the court as to whether the dog had bitten the Plaintiff and whether the plaintiff was at fault and that the sole reason that the Defendant was attempting to introduce this evidence was to prejudice the jury against the Plaintiff. The judge sided with Attorney Sybel and disallowed the prejudicial evidence
Again critically, at the completion of the trial, Attorney Sybel also successfully argued to the trial Judge that the defendant had failed to introduce sufficient evidence that the Plaintiff had teased or tormented the dogs to allow the jury to decide the issue. The Judge agreed and found as a matter of law that the Plaintiff did not tease the dogs and found the Defendant responsible for the dog bite, leaving the jury to decide damages After a three day Trial in the New Bedford Superior Court, a jury rendered a $100,000.00 verdict for the Plaintiff who was represented by Attorney Sharon Sybel from Brian Cunha & Associates, against the owner of a pit bull whose dog caused serious injuries to the Plaintiff .