TEXAS CITY — A woman whose four pit bulls attacked and killed a family’s 10-year-old beagle in October is now suing the deceased dog’s owner for up to $1 million in damages, according to court documents.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Steve Baker, Bailey’s owner. “Everyone was telling me to sue her, but I decided not to because it won’t bring Bailey back.”
Justice had already been served since the tragedy, he said.
“The police took the action I wanted and declared those dogs dangerous and awareness was raised; so I decided to let it go,” Baker said. “Now they’re suing me for $1 million — I just can’t believe it.”
Getting served with a lawsuit was a complete shock, he said.
Baker and his wife were served Wednesday with the lawsuit, filed in the 405th District Court, at their home, the same place where their dog was “shaken like a rag doll” by their neighbor’s four pitbulls Oct. 27.
According to court documents, Baker’s neighbor and the plaintiff in the case, Emerald White, claims she was “seriously injured” after she was “unexpectedly and viciously attacked” when she entered the Baker’s backyard to retrieve her dogs, which had entered through a hole in the mutual fence separating the two properties.
Multiple calls made by The Daily News to White’s attorney, Paul LaValle, were not returned Friday.
Court documents state that White said she suffered “multiple serious bite and scratch-type injuries requiring ongoing medical treatment.” She also alleges feeling “conscious pain and suffering and now suffers also from fear anxiety and trepidation” as a result of the “unprovoked attack.”
Baker said his dog, Bailey, had been nothing but a loyal companion to his family who had been around his two daughters since they were babies.
White also alleges in the lawsuit that the Bakers failed to confine and restrict Bailey in a secure enclosure.
Not long before the incident, Baker had worked to replace parts of the fence to be more secure and safe for his dog and family.
Baker said that before the incident, he had spoken with his neighbor about repairing his part of the fence, but never had any response.
Since the incident, White’s four dogs have been declared dangerous dogs by the city of Texas City. The dangerous dog ordinance requires the owners to obtain a secure enclosure that is at least 6 feet high with a mechanical locking device.
Each of the dogs must be registered with the city annually as a dangerous dog. The owners must post a sign in their yard alerting residents of their dangerous dogs and the owners must also have a $100,000 liability on the dogs, police have said.
Contact reporter Shannon Daughtry at 409-683-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.