Nearly two years following the vicious dog attack on a 15-year-old boy in Zion Illinois, parties to the dispute reached a settlement agreement granting the victim $1.125 Million for his injuries. According to the Jury Verdict Reporter, this amount represents the largest award for a dog bite attack in Illinois history. As attorneys, who represent dog bite victims in Illinois, this settlement is significant in terms of victim rights, because it sends the message that careless dog owners can and will be held accountable for their inability to control a dangerous animal.
The tragic attack occurred on June 29, 2011, while 15 year old Jordyn Bankston was out riding his bicycle in the Lake County community of Zion. As Jordyn stopped to talk with his friends, a 120 lb Bull Mastiff escaped his owner’s fenced in yard, and charged towards the boys. Although the boys tried to escape, the massive dog was able to reach Jordyn, clenching the child’s arm with his forceful teeth and dragging him to the ground. Despite two neighbors attempting to intervene by kicking the dog, the savage dog attack continued, reports say, for nearly 10 minutes. The boy was eventually freed when a third neighbor burned the dog’s nose with a lit cigarette.
Jordyn was rushed to a nearby hospital in Waukegan, where he remained for nearly a week. As a result of the vicious attack, Jordyn suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to his arms, shoulder, legs, thigh, buttocks and head. Due to the extent of his injuries, the boy also required plastic reconstructive surgery. According to the dog bite attorneys representing the child and his family, “It was a very, very traumatic event. He thought he was going to die.”
It is no surprise that earlier this year, Lake County made changes to its Animal care and Control Ordinance, specifically adopting by reference the Illinois Animal Control Act, the Illinois Dangerous Animal Act, as well as others. To view the complete text of Lake County’s Animal Care and Control Ordinance, please visit the official website for the Lake County Health Department.