The family of a man who died after a dog bite has sued the dog's owner for wrongful death.
The family of a man who died after a dog bite has sued the dog’s owner for wrongful death.
The family of Kenneth Bock claims that dog owner Konrad Haskins was aware that his Redbone Coonhound had a history of biting people, but still let him roam without a leash.
Haskins has denied through his lawyer that his dog, Buddy, was off-leash the day Bock was bitten.
Bock and Haskins were both at Chain Lake Mini-Storage in Monroe in February. According to the lawsuit, filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, Buddy was wandering the property. The dog bit Bock on the finger, drawing blood, said the family’s attorney, Chris Davis.
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The next day, Bock had severe pain in his leg. He went to the hospital, where doctors found a blood clot that had formed, Davis said. Bock developed an infection doctors diagnosed as Capnocytophaga canimorsus sepsis, a bacterium commonly found in the saliva of cats and dogs, the lawsuit said.
Bock died 10 days after the bite.
“This is not the first time the dog bit somebody,” Davis said. “Mr. Haskins and his wife knew their dog was dangerous or at least potentially dangerous to humans.”
Haskins’ lawyer, Gary Trabolsi, contends Haskins had put the dog in his SUV, and Bock reached through an open window toward the dog when he was bit.
“Before you pet a dog, especially on somebody else’s property, you need to make sure that’s OK with the owner,” Trabolsi said.
The dog also bit another person, Daniel Bork, earlier that day at the same place, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Haskins paid Bork $100 as compensation. Trabolsi said Haskins did not see any blood or broken skin, but gave him a sanitizer wipe and $20 “for his inconvenience,” not $100.
According to state law, Davis said, a dog’s owner can be held civilly responsible if his or her dog bites someone and the owner knew the dog was potentially dangerous. Veterinary records show that the dog bit people as a puppy, Davis said. The owner had the dog put down a week after the bite, Trabolsi said.
The lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering.
The bacterium led to multiple organ failure and tissue necrosis, and Bock died a painful death, essentially rotting to death, Davis said.
“Obviously, no amount of money is ever going to make up for what happened,” Davis said. “The family is very upset.”
Haskins has a homeowner’s insurance policy and a small-business-owner’s policy for his barbecue business that could cover the death, but Davis said the insurance company has refused to pay the full amount of both policies — about $1.5 million — to the Bock family, so the family decided to sue, Davis said.
Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org