Palatine dog attack victims file lawsuit after 3rd attack in Elmwood Park

    A series of three violent attacks by two suburban dogs finally came to a head after the most recent attack leads to the victims suing the Village of Palatine, IL, the dog owner’s former residence.

    The two dogs, an Akita mix and a pit bull mix, belonged to 22-year-old Meleina Teodoro and were initially involved in two Palatine attacks in May.

    Dog attacks in Palatine

    “The judge required her to move out of Palatine with her dogs as part of a plea deal to not euthanize them.”

    The first attack injured Amanda Ingram and killed her dog. The second attack happened moments later to Chase Braun, which resulted in injuries to both him and his dog.

    Teodoro was cited by the town of Palatine for more than a dozen ordinance violations, and the judge required her to move out of Palatine with her dogs as part of a plea deal to not euthanize them.

    Dog attack in Elmwood Park

    The final attack was only two months later in Elmwood Park, after Teodoro had moved out of Palatine. The attack happened on Aug. 20 when Aneta Heinz, 48, was walking her 4-year-old retriever mix, in Elmwood Park. According to a neighbor, the two dogs didn’t have any collars or leashes on when they jumped out of the yard and violently knocked her down. Both Heinz and her dog were injured. Although there is a warning sign on Teodoro’s home’s fence, neighbors also said the dogs were usually snarling and appeared ready to pounce unrestrained.

    The attacks were finally put to stop when the two dogs were turned over to Animal Care and Control and later euthanized on the Wednesday following the latest attack in Elmwood Park. Now, the Elmwood Park victim and her husband Steve Heinz are suing the Village of Palatine claiming they were negligent by not euthanizing the aggressive dogs after the first deadly attack.

    What rights do dog bite victims have?

    Dog attacks are often traumatic events that cause victims tremendous physical and emotional damage, and sometimes life threatening injuries. When an attack occurs, it’s important for victims and family members to understand their rights in order to receive compensation for the damage they have suffered. In Illinois, dog attacks are covered by the 510 ILCS 5/15 of the Animal Control Act, which places liability for any civil damages on the dog owner if their dog attacks someone who is peaceably conducting themselves in an area lawfully, and without provocation.

    “Even if you were attacked by a dog who has no violent history, the owner is still liable”

    Since Illinois is a strict liability state that does not adhere to the “one-bite rule” the owner is liable even if the dog has never demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past. In this case, Teodoro and the Village of Palatine knew of the dogs’ violent past, but not all dog attacks are so clearly preventable and demonstrate such reckless negligence. In Illinois, even if you were attacked by a dog who has no violent history, the owner is still liable and you have the legal right to pursue financial compensation.

    Victims of dog attacks should also know that the statute of limitations for dog bite injuries in Illinois are the same as any other personal injury claim. Victims have two years from the date the dog bite occurred to file a personal injury claim.

    When to Call a Dog Bite 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, which means you do not pay us unless we settle your lawsuit and you win compensation. If you our a loved one are the victim of a dog attack, contact our Chicago area personal injury law firm at (630)-684-2332 or use our online form to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

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