Matthew Havern owned a pit bull mix that had a history of attacking children. After the first attack (on a four year old in November 2006), Mr. Havern pled guilty to dog law violations and was required to register, vaccinate and take measures to restrain the dog. While Mr. Havern placed the dog in his basement, he otherwise failed to comply with the Pennsylvania dog law and lied to a dog warden, claiming he no longer owned the dog.
In September of 2009, the dog attacked Mr. Havern’s 3 year old niece, Alorah Havern. The attack left her with severe injuries, including wounds that required 300 stitches to close, lost teeth and facial bone fractures.
Mr. Havern pled guilty to charges stemming from the attack on his niece (and his conduct in failing to comply with the dog laws) and was sentenced to 1 to 12 months in Erie County Prison.
It is not yet known whether Alorah Havern will bring a civil claim against her uncle or anyone else to recover compensation for her medical bills and injuries. It seems there would be little dispute about whether or not Mr. Havern was legally responsible for the dog attack. In a case like this one, an Erie dog bite lawyer would be looking for insurance coverage sufficient to make this little girl whole. For her sake, I hope her family has found an experienced Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer to do the investigation necessary to obtain for her the compensation she deserves.
The Erie dog bite and animal attack lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have prepared and offer for free two guides addressing dogs. The first is for owners and offer free information on how to Prevent Your Dog from Biting . The second is for people who sometimes interact with dogs and offers advice on How to Avoid a Dog Bite (and What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten ).