Dog blamed for bicyclist's severe injuries

Ann Knef Jun. 14, 2006, 8:43am

Man's best friend is being blamed for a Madison County bike trailer rider's pain and anguish.

In a lawsuit filed June 12 in Madison County Circuit Court, bicyclist Danny L. Clanton of Edwardsville alleges a dog owned by Sam Blevins of Edwardsville is responsible for injuries he sustained on the Quercus Grove Trail.

Clanton is suing Blevins, Madison County Transit, Agency for Community Transit and Bi-State Development Agency.

He claims that Blevins' dog chased and struck him, which caused him to fall with great force and violence on June 14, 2005.

Represented by Patrick G. Johnston of Edwardsville, Clanton is seeking in excess of $400,000 in damages, plus costs of the suit for severe and permanent internal and external injuries.

"...he has in the past and will in the future continue to suffer great pain and anguish; he has expended and will be compelled to expend large sums of money for certain doctor, hospital, medical and pharmaceutical expenses for the treatment of said injuries and will be compelled to expend large sums of money in the future," the complaint states.

Clanton claims Blevins is negligent for allowing his dog to run at large and for failing to warn him about the loose dog. He also claims damages under a state statute which allows persons injured by dogs to recover damages for injuries.

According to the suit, the public agencies are negligent because they were in charge of the maintenance, care, security and inspection of the Madison County bike trails, and ignored "numerous complaints."

"Defendant...had received numerous complaints regarding the actions of certain individuals, including but not limited to the co-defendant, Sam Blevins, who allowed the animals and/or dogs to run at large and attack pedestrians, runners, and/or cyclists on said 'Quercus Trail' in said city, county and state," the complaint states.

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