Toddler dead after dog attacks child in Joliet

    JOLIET, IL  (July 7, 2020) – A 17-month-old girl from Aurora died early Sunday morning after a pit bull mix dog attacked the child at a Fourth of July house party in Joliet, Illinois.

    Marley Wilander was sleeping in an upstairs playpen prior to the dog attack while her parents, who were guests of the homeowner, visited downstairs. The homeowner had earlier secured two dogs in the basement.

    At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement. The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler. The homeowner was able to separate the dog from the toddler and called 911 and Joliet Police and Fire responded. The owner turned the dog over to the Joliet Township Animal Control.

    At 1:30 am on Sunday an ambulance took an unresponsive Marley Wilander to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center. She had a pulse at the time of transport but later died around 3:30 a.m.

    The Joliet dog involved in the deadly attack was euthanized. The authorities did not seize the older second dog because it is not believed to be involved in the upstairs bedroom attack.

    51% of dog bite victims in the United States are young childrenSadly, this pit bull attack is the second fatal dog attack in the Plainfield area this year and the third in Illinois. According to the  Humane Society, 51% of dog bite victims in the United States are young children, but adults have also recently suffered fatal attacks.

    In February, a 25-year-old man died several days after being attacked by his own dog in what police called an “unprovoked attack” on the owner and several family members. In May, a 52-year-old Lake County woman was attacked and killed by her own dog, which had been in the custody of animal control after reportedly attacking her boyfriend. She had retrieved the dog from animal control days before she was killed.

    Illinois Dog Bite Laws

    When a tragic incident like this happens, it’s important for family members of dog bite victims to know their legal options. Dog bite fatalities are addressed by the 510 ILCS 5/15 of the Animal Control Act, which says that if a dog attacks someone who is peaceably conducting themselves in an area lawfully and without provocation, the dog owner is liable for any civil damages. Illinois is a strict liability state, where dog owners are liable for injuries the dog caused. This is true even if the dog had never demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past. Even if it’s not a dog bite fatality case, victims can win financial compensation for the medical attention they received for serious injuries from an emergency room trip.

    What to do if you’ve experienced a dog attack

    Consulting with an attorney experienced in dog attack cases is the first step to getting financial compensation, and most lawyers provide a free legal consultation. Whether you are dealing with dog bite injuries from a family dog or are suffering the loss of a family member from a fatal mauling, a good dog bite attorney will handle legal matters while you recover. Victims and family members have the right to financial compensation, and your lawyer will guide you through the steps of the legal process.

    Palermo Law Group provides more information on Illinois dog bite laws and what to do when you are attacked by a dog at our Chicago Dog Bite Lawyer page.

    When to Call a Dog Attack Lawyer

    Palermo Law Group can help you get justice and compensation for your injuries and losses, and you can count on a no-fee guarantee. We work on off of a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay us unless we settle your lawsuit and you win compensation.



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