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Santa Monica Agrees to Settle Dog-Mauling Case

Lawsuit involves a 7-year-old boy from Culver City who was bitten in the face and neck.

A Culver City boy mauled by a pit bull named Monster at a Santa Monica park in 2010 could receive $325,000 under a settlement approved Tuesday night by the City Council.

"This was a very sad case," said City Attorney Marsha Moutrie.

The dog attacked 7-year-old Zachary Rasmussen in October 2010 at after jumping on and opening an unlocked gate at the park's small dog run. 

Rasmussen was "viciously attacked in the head, neck, shoulders and back," his attorney Brian Nelson wrote in a negligence suit filed against the city and Monster's owner in March of last year.

Deputy City Attorney Lance Gams said the service gate had been rarely used and "didn't seem to be problem" before the attack.

Had the case gone to trial and the plaintiff won, a jury could have awarded Rasmussen upwards of $1 million, Gams said.

The boy—who reportedly suffered some brain damage as a result of the attack—sought compensation for medical bills and rehabilitation, as well as future health care expenses and damages for pain and suffering.

"The jury was going to have to decide whether they were really going to send this boy away without any compensation," Gams said. "The settlement is a good one for everybody, especially for the city."

The settlement requires approval from a Los Angeles Superior Court judge before it’s official.

Anna Balsamo July 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
If the poor victim is brain damaged as a result of this attack, he's now on par with the idiot pit bull lovers posting here.... And that is most unfortunate.
Jaloney Caldwell July 27, 2012 at 08:20 PM
The it's the owner not the breed mantra sounds logical but it's not. This repetitive slogan is illogical. Other dog breeds owned in much greater numbers have equal chances of getting neglectful and abusive owners, yet they adapt to human shortcomings and don't maul people or pets at anywhere near the rate that pitbulls do. Mortality, Maiming and Mauling by Vicious Dogs, Annals of Surgery, April 2011, is study of dog injuries in hospitals spanning the last 15 years. The study found that you have a more than 2500 times higher chance of dying if attacked by a pitbull. In addition it found that pitbulls caused the highest hospital charges, and the most deaths, dismemberments, permanent disability, and disfigurement of all breeds. The study also found that pitbulls attack children, and owners much more often than other breeds AND IT IS FAMILY LOVED AND UNABUSED PITBULLS THAT ARE MAULING PEOPLE.. Just as you can't see a gene that suddenly turns on cancer, you can't see the gene that is suddenly activated in a pitbull making them violent.If you believe that pitbulls are just like any other dog, and regurgitate the false "its the owner not the breed mantra" you would of believed the world was flat, too Just because something sounds good doesn't make it true. http://walkforvictimsofpitbulls.blogspot.com/ http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pitbulldangers
Marion Z July 28, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Debbie Bell..you are suffering from retardation and you should not be allowed to even comment on any dog related story..you are full of hate..its Dog racism ...go get yourself checked. Maybe they should put someone like you on a leash, you are a danger for the community.
Marion Z July 28, 2012 at 06:56 PM
http://atts.org/breed-statistics/ Maybe some of you should check out this website...statistics about breeds which is conducted yearly.
kat July 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM
http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Articles/OtherBreedBites/AllDogsBite.htm. ignorance seems to be bliss, please scroll through the long list of non pit bull attacks!

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