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Boy Suffers Facial Paralysis from Dog Attack – $725K Settlement

A father and his four-year-old son prepared for a family outing to a San Francisco 49ers training camp session. They convened with the rest of their family at a relative’s house, dressed in scarlet and gold jerseys. The boy noticed his great uncle’s large English Bulldog and went to pet it. Without warning, the dog charged the boy and mauled his face. Tragically, the attack severed his tear duct and mandibular nerve, causing permanent facial paralysis. David Scopp of Harris Personal Injury Lawyers used an animation during mediation to reenact the horrific attack and show how it adversely impacted the boy’s life.

Doctors surgically repaired the boy’s left cheek, suturing the large lacerations and avulsions around his eye. After the attack, the boy’s parents filed a claim against their relative’s home insurance. Disappointingly, the carrier returned with a low $10,000 offer. The boy’s parents contacted David Scopp but were worried about how a lawsuit against their family member would affect their relationship. David assured them of a trouble-free process and proceeded. After learning David represented the family, the Defense increased their offer to $125,000.

David declined the offer, explaining that the amount was insufficient based on the boy’s permanent scars and marred smile. Moreover, he contended the boy’s appearance would affect his pivotal life experiences, including his relationships and every photo he took. Preparing for mediation, David retained a cosmetic surgeon who testified that the boy’s severed mandibular nerve disfigured his smile. However, with no evidence or video capturing the event, David knew he needed to convey just how traumatic the experience was. Thus, David brought on DK Global to work with him and his expert to reconstruct the dog attack and create an age-progression animation.

The animation commenced with a picture of the boy smiling joyfully just before the incident. Next, a 3D model of the boy depicted him sitting next to the English Bulldog when suddenly, the dog became aggressive and attacked. The dog’s canines pierced the boy’s left cheek, barely missing his eye. Then, the boy’s injuries were recreated: right mandibular nerve damage, an asymmetrical smile, and large lacerations on his tongue and under his eyelid. Finally, the animation demonstrated how the boy’s blemished appearance would look as he grew older, hurting his self-esteem and confidence.

During mediation, David played the animation for the Defendant’s insurer. Finally, after witnessing the terrifying incident, the boy’s gruesome injuries, and how it would affect his quality of life, they offered to settle the matter for $725,000.

David Scopp is an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers and has advocated for survivors of traumatic injuries for over 14 years. As a former defense attorney for insurance companies, he uses his experience to attain well-deserved compensation and justice for his clients. In 2015 and 2016, David was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers while maintaining an excellent rating on Avvo.

"Working with DK Global was wonderful from the beginning, I could just really tell how much everyone I spoke to over there loved their job... I could tell they really wanted the best outcome for my client."
David W. Scopp – Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc.
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