Georgia Court Denies Police Officer Immunity in Dog Attack Suit

June 22, 2009

A man bitten in the throat by a Florida police dog can pursue a lawsuit against the dog’s handler under an appeals court ruling.

An 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals panel said that Jacksonville Beach officer Richard Keith Dorough was not immune to Robert Trammell’s claim that Dorough failed to halt the attack immediately upon realizing Trammell was the wrong man.

The judges upheld a lower court’s finding for Dorough and the city on two other issues.

Trammell was making a phone call in a friend’s fenced back yard in July 2003 when the dog came through an opening in pursuit of a suspect. Court documents say Trammell was hospitalized 18 days, had four operations and a $147,515 medical bill.

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