Parents of Layton toddler who lost lower arm in dog attack file lawsuit

Davis County officials responded to a call of a dog bite in which a 3-year-old child was critically injured Sunday, March 3, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy VanValkenburg

LAYTON, Utah, Jan. 4, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The parents of a Layton boy whose arm was partially chewed off by dogs in the next door neighbors’ yard have filed a multi-defendant lawsuit in the case.

Named as defendants are the renters who owned the two dogs, Siberian huskies; the property owner; and the real estate agency management company associated with the property.

John and Hope Brown’s lawsuit, filed this week in 2nd District Court of Farmington, asks for general and punitive monetary damages for the incident, which occurred on March 3, 2019.

The dog attack caused son Austin Brown, then 3, to lose his right arm, almost up to the elbow.

Paperwork filed in the case states that while Austin was playing in the enclosed backyard of his residence, “one or both of the Siberian Huskies dug and reached under the fence and bit Austin, pulling his arm and shoulder under the fence, where both dogs viciously attacked and mutilated the child.”

John Brown was able to free his son from the dogs, “but not before the two Siberian Huskies removed a portion of Austin‘s arm up to his elbow, and caused other serious injuries,” the filing documents say.

Court documents state that “All defendants knew or should have known that the two Siberian Huskies were vicious, and an unreasonable risk of harm to others. All defendants were negligent in keeping vicious animals or allowing vicious animals to be kept at the property.”

The suit says that, “As a result of the significant permanent injury that substantially changed Austin’s life, including an amputation of an extremity and significant disfigurement.”

The suit also says John Brown “sustained severe emotional distress,” and asked he be compensated for past and future costs for medical and psychological treatment, loss of earnings and earning capacity, pain and suffering, impairment of the quality of life, emotional stress, depression and anxiety, and other economic and non-economic damages to be proven at trial.”

The suit seeks compensation “in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, for the following damages:

  • For economic and non-economic damages which will fully and fairly compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries, damages and losses, and permanent impairment, all including both past and future
  • For exemplary or punitive damages
  • For pre and post-judgment interest as allowed by law
  • For costs and fees including but not limited to expert witness fees, filing fees, deposition expenses, and attorney’s fees
  • For such other and further relief as this Court may deem appropriate.”

The dogs in the case were taken to Davis County Animal Care and Control. Ultimately, the owners agreed to surrender the dogs, which were transported to an animal sanctuary.

Gephardt Daily will have more information on this case as it develops.

A 3-year-old boy was critically injured when he was bitten by a neighbor’s dog in Layton on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

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