$850,000 Recovery for Dog Bite Injury

A Somerset business agreed to pay $850,000 to a computer serviceman attacked by the business owner’s dog during a routine service call.

A landscaping business invited the East Brunswick client to work on its computer system on Dec. 14, 1999, but he accidentally entered the wrong door and was attacked by a Rottweiler weighing 144 pounds, and owned by the company’s proprietor.

The defendants contended that client was trespassing, so New Jersey’s dog-bite statute, N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, did not apply. However, it was shown that the client was clearly a business invitee and did not lose that status by inadvertently entering the wrong door.

Multiple bites on the man’s right arm and hand healed but evolved into reflex sympathetic disorder and still causes pain. In addition, the client’s computer repair business has pretty much folded since the incident and the 56-year-old has been classified as disabled by the Social Security Administration.

Ron Goldfaden, a principal of the firm, handled the case on behalf of the attack victim.