Pit Bull Attack Victim Erin Ingram Lost An Arm, But Judge Cuts The Lawsuit Reward By Millions

Pit bull attack victim Erin Ingram lost her left arm and most of the functionality in her right arm when she was only 8-years-old and two pit bulls attacked her. Years later, a jury rewarded her millions, but the judge in the case decided to halve that amount based upon Georgia law.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, in response to a pit bull ban, Utah has passed a law that bans any attempt to ban ownership of the dog breed. Police in Florida are investigating a potential case of animal cruelty, where it’s alleged a teen shot and ran over his neighbor’s dogs.

Ingram testified that she thought she was going to die when the pit bull attack occurred back on March 9, 2010. While the then 8-year-old Erin was shooting hoops in front of her house, two pit bulls raced over from the house of neighbor Twyann Vaughn, who lived four houses away. The pit bull attack knocked the little girl to the ground, and she remembers the details in her nightmares.

“They knocked me down,” Erin said, according to Parent Dish. “They started biting me around the arms and ankles. I was screaming for help.”

Neighbors tried in vain to help her escape the pit bull attack, and even police officers had to use batons to fight off the vicious dogs. One pit bull backed down but the other dog would not give up, so police officers were forced to shoot it in the head.

The damage from the pit bull attack was quite severe. Erin Ingram lost her left arm to amputation, her other arm is disfigured, and her ankles are severely scarred. Ingram is expected to need more surgeries over time, in addition to larger prosthetic devices as she grows into adulthood. Overall, the medical bills are expected to exceed $1 million.

“My family has been having hard times since the accident,” Erin said in court. “I have nightmares about everything over and over, and I cannot sleep. People stare at me. Kids make fun of me.”

The pit bulls’ owner, Twyann Vaughn, said the two pit bulls had broken out of the kennel when she wasn’t home. In 2012, Vaughn was sentenced to 16 months in jail for violating Georgia’s Vicious Dog Act, in addition to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service.

“I’m just very, very sorry that it all happened and I just want to express that to the family,” Vaughn said at the time, according to ABC 13. “I hope Erin’s doing well. I really do.”

The civil lawsuit reward was $36,691,278.50 in compensatory damages, and $36 million in punitive damages. But Judge Mathew Robins reduced the amount to $37 million based upon a George law that limits punitive damages to $250,000. Erin’s lawyer Kevin Adamson says the pit bull attack will have Vaughn paying Erin Ingram “as long as she collects a paycheck.” The lawyer also says the lawsuit really is not about the money, since Vaughn used to be a hotel custodian, and may not even be currently employed.

“We believe that those dogs were trained to attack,” Adamson said, noting how the owner’s training of them was the problem. “The jury came out and told us when we were done that they wanted to send a message, and they hoped they sent a loud message. The message is, when you have dangerous dogs… you’re going to be responsible for their actions.”

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