Moro woman awarded $140,000 over dog bite

Christina Stueve Oct. 21, 2011, 12:00pm

A Moro woman was awarded $140,000 in Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison's courtroom after a three-day trial.

The jury award came Oct. 19 for Trena Wells after she sued Matthew and Amy Cooper of Moro over a dog bite that occurred on Nov. 24, 2008.

Wells filed suit on Sept. 14, 2010, seeking damages under the Illinois Animal Control Act.

According to plaintiff attorney Lindsay Rakers of St. Louis, Wells was injured while visiting her sister-in-law, Amy Cooper.

The dog, a black labrador mix, escaped from the back yard and was hit by a car. Wells, who knew the dog well, saw the dog turn back towards the street, Rakers stated in an email to the Record.

At that time, Wells placed her arms around the dog at which time the dog stopped, collapsed, and bit Wells on both thumbs. The dog died within minutes following the bites. As a result of the bites, Wells suffered puncture wounds to her left thumb and injuries to her right thumb that included multiple fractures to the tip of her thumb and a torn nail bed, according to Rakers.

Wells also had two outpatient surgeries following the emergency room repair, Rakers stated.

Jurors awarded $5,000 for disfigurement; $45,000 for loss of a normal life; $50,000 for pain and suffering and $40,000 for medical care.

According to Rakers, Wells'last demand was $60,000.

Rakers said that Grinnell Mutual Insurance Company offered $43,000 pre-suit, lowered its offer to $25,000 post-suit and offered $35,000 days before to trial.

Wells was also represented by Andrew Mundwiller of St. Louis.

Michael Bedesky of Reed Armstrong in Edwardsville represented the defendants.

The case is Madison County Case Number 10-L-952.

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Reed, Armstrong, Mudge & Morrissey
115 N Buchanan St
Edwardsville, IL 62025-1771

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