A man who had been delivering post to a local address has been awarded compensation for severe injuries to his face as a result of a dog attack at the address.
In October 2008, Joseph Dunne (63) of Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, was working as a postman for An Post. He was delivering mail to a local address when he was attacked by a dog that had escaped from the back garden of the house through a hole in the hedge. The dog knocked Joseph to the ground, and clawed and bit the postman.
The dog was eventually stopped by two passers-by when one of them hit the dog across its back with a stick. Joseph was transported to hospital, and received medical attention for the lacerations to his face that he received. Joseph needed 22 stitches to the right side of his face, and he received treatment for nerve damage which affected movement in his forehead. He later had to undergo plastic surgery to disguise the scarring from the attack. In spite of the trauma, Joseph returned to work soon after the attack. The dog was put down the day after the attack.
Joseph sought legal counsel, and made a dog bite injury compensation claim against the dog’s owners-Olive Dalton and Martin Maher. He claimed that they had been negligence in ensuring that their garden was secure enough to prevent the dog from escaping. The defendants denied liability for Joseph’s injuries, and the case was brought to court.
The case was heard by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty in the Dublin High Court, who ruled in Joseph’s favour after hearing the circumstances of the attack. Joseph was awarded €55,000 as compensation for his injuries. The judge commented that Joseph had been brave to return to work so soon after such a particularly frightening incident.