Partner Rich Ruohonen litigated a dog bite case in which K.T., a minor, was bit by a dog owned by his grandparents while visiting his grandparents’ home. He suffered a laceration below his nose running toward his upper lip. After significant investigation, Rich located another child that also was bit by the dog in the case. Following that discovery, the offer on the case almost doubled and the case was settled shortly before trial for a total of $85,000.
Rhonda was making a home visit for her job when she was attacked by a pit bull. As the pit bull jumped at her, she put her arm up to prevent the dog from biting her face. The pit bull bit her wrist, tearing it open and causing minor nerve damage. The insurance company only offered $15,000 to settle the case. The judge granted a motion for punitive damages because the pit bull was known to be dangerous and had been involved in other attacks. The case was tried to a jury by Partner Rich Ruohonen and an award of approximately $48,000 was rendered by the jury. The case settled prior to the punitive damages phase of the trial for approximately $60,000.
Rochelle was attacked by a dog while walking her dog on public sidewalk. Her ankle was ripped open and was repaired with several stitches. This injury healed with an ankle scar. Partner Rich Ruohonen settled this case for $20,000.
Partner Rich Ruohonen settled a case for $425,000 involving a dog attack to the face of a young boy. The parents tried to settle this matter several years later on their own but were only offered about 20 percent of the actual value of the case. Rich got involved in the case only a few months before the expiration of the statute of limitations and the insurance company immediately began to increase their offer. There were two policies that applied (one for the owner and one for the harborer of the dog). The first policy was eventually tendered after Rich got involved and said he would not settle for less than those limits. The second part of the case was sued out to preserve the statute of limitations. The insurance company for the second policy requested early mediation after the lawsuit was commenced and the case was settled at mediation.
Partner Rich Ruohonen represented a young minor who was attacked by dog when she was eight years old and did not seek legal representation until several years later. Her face was lacerated in several places. The immediate plastic surgery performed by the University of Minnesota repaired all wounds and was unbelievably well done, leaving only some minor visible scarring. This young girl’s parents did not take pictures of the initial dog bite as they rushed their daughter to the hospital. Rich and his staff ended up locating pictures years later that were not attached to her medical file but were being used to teach plastic surgery reconstruction for doctors. These pictures were critical to showing the severity of the initial injuries and attack. The scarring is now only minimally visible, but the client did have issues with mild PTSD and behavioral issues believed to be related to the dog attack. This matter settled for $450,000.