Burien resident Jeannette Cunningham (pictured above in 2010, left, and after surgery in 2012, right) was recently awarded a $500,000 settlement for a Pit Bull attack she suffered over five years ago (read our previous coverage here). Cunningham at the time told The B-Town Blog that she had “lost her smile” when she was attacked by the dog while crossing a Burien street on July 24, 2010. Her face was disfigured in the attack, with the majority of the damage done to her mouth and chin area, caused by the dog jumping up and biting her face. A fundraiser in Sept. 2010 netted over $5,500 to help her. Her lawyer Christopher M. Davis said on his company’s website that:

“Investigation determined that the dog had escaped the fenced yard it was confined to through a gate that had been left open while the pit bull’s owners, Juan and Aleicia Garcia, were not at their home.”
The dog was re-located to relatives in Yakima, and there was some concern about why the city didn’t euthanize it. Here’s a video Q13 News produced about the case: Here’s a poster that went up around town at the time, accusing the City of Burien’s Animal Control – then lead by Dr. Leslie Kasper – of negligence in releasing the dog that attacked her: Burien resident awarded $500,000 settlement for 2010 Pit Bull attack 2 Attorney Davis also wrote:
“It was eventually uncovered that this particular dog had a history of aggressive behavior and had even bit two separate individuals not long before the attack that severely altered Cunningham’s life.” Attorneys representing the insurance company for the Garcias’ homeowner’s liability insurance policy tried to argue that our client was somehow at fault for the injuries she suffered in the pit bull attack. However, they ultimately acknowledged their own liability for our client’s injuries and we were able to successfully negotiate a $500,000 settlement ahead of a scheduled jury trial.
“The final settlement covered the extensive medical bills and surgical procedures that our client had endured in the years following the attack, as well as a loss of consortium claim that was filed by her husband,” Davis added.]]>