Shawn Battagler and Megan Ray represented Defendants Bruce and Debra Buxton in the case of Kathalana & Steven Klein v. Bruce & Debra Buxton before a Polk County, Missouri jury last week. The case arose out of alleged incidents with the Defendants’ dogs crossing onto Plaintiffs’ property and biting Plaintiff and her horses in 2009, 2010 and 2013. The case was first filed in October 2010.
Plaintiff submitted the case on a strict liability claim under Section 273.036 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri which states that owners or harborers of a dog that bites, without provocation, are liable for personal injury and for damages to livestock.
At trial, Plaintiffs claimed property damage for the fair market value loss to eight horses following an alleged attack in December 2009, totaling $25,500. Plaintiffs were unable to produce any independent witnesses or photographic evidence of such attack.
Plaintiff claimed personal injuries stemming from the December 2009 bite including continuing hip pain. Plaintiff also claimed emotional damages and asked the jury for $175,000 in pain and suffering.
According to Plaintiff, the alleged December 2009 dog bite caused her to be unable to work as an over-the-road truck driver for a period of three years. She asked the jury for approximately $125,000 in lost wages. Defendants produced evidence showing Plaintiff had been unable to work due to failing a DOT physical three months before the alleged bite.
Plaintiff Steven Klein claimed loss of consortium type damages due to his wife’s inability to provide household services, companionship, and an intimate relationship following the alleged dog bite and asked the jury for a reasonable amount to compensate him for that loss.
In total, Plaintiffs requested from the jury $325,000 plus a reasonable amount of loss of consortium damages.
Battagler and Ray secured complete defense verdicts for all claims in the four day jury trial that concluded on June 1, 2018. They obtained both a defense verdict assessing $0 against their clients on the property damage claim and a defense verdict assessing $0 against their clients on all personal injury matters.