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Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas, LLP Granted a Directed Verdict in Negligence Case

01.20.2017

Attorney Kristi L. Kautz of Fletcher Farley’s Dallas office recently won a directed verdict in a negligence suit filed in Collin County.

The case arose out of an alleged dog “attack” which occurred in a 26 second period where our client’s dog escaped through an open gate. The plaintiff was walking her two dogs on leashes when our client’s dog allegedly escaped the backyard, entered the street and aggressively charged at her and her dogs. The plaintiff sustained a broken finger when her own dogs jerked their leashes in response to the loose dog. She underwent a surgical procedure, resulting in significant medical expenses and lost wages. During trial, the plaintiff was forced to concede that our client’s dog never touched her, never touched her dogs, never came closer than 15 feet, and in fact, returned to its owner immediately when called.  The plaintiff also conceded that the gate was propped open to allow our client to perform yardwork, and that our client had secured his dog inside his home before opening the gate. The plaintiff was unable to contest that the dog escaped as a result of a young child opening the backdoor unexpectedly.

After the plaintiff rested her case, Kristi moved for a directed verdict that the plaintiff had not demonstrated foreseeability and, therefore, had not proven negligence. This motion was considered by the court and granted, resulting in a complete victory for Fletcher Farley’s client.

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