Dog attack prompts woman to sue

Ann Knef Sep. 29, 2010, 5:11am

A woman says she suffered permanent damage to her right hand and arm after she was attacked by a Black Labrador named Tank.

Trena Wells filed a lawsuit on Sept. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court against Matthew and Amy Cooper of Moro.

Wells says she was a guest in the Coopers' home at 515 West Moro Dr. when the couples' Labrador retriever Tank escaped from the back yard and ran onto Moro Drive. The dog was struck around 3:30 p.m. by a white truck. Wells says the dog then ran back into the Coopers' home and attacked and bit her.

In Wells' suit, she claims the Coopers should have known about and warned her of the dog's vicious nature. She claims they were negligent in not restraining, training, removing or preventing the dog from biting her.

In an additional count of the suit, Wells blames the Coopers for not following an Illinois statute that makes the owners of an animal responsible for damages when a lawful visitor who is acting peacefully is injured by the animal.

Wells also claims the Coopers were negligent in allowing their dog access to their property in a way that made their home unsafe.

Wells says she suffered severe, permanent damage to her right hand, thumb and right arm. She says she incurred medical expenses of $21,000, and suffered emotional distress and depression because of the incident.

She also claims lost wages.

In her complaint, Wells seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs on all four counts.

Zane T. Cagle of the Cagle Law Firm will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-952.

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