CLINTON — The parents of a Clinton toddler who was bit by a dog this month is suing the Clinton Humane Society and the dog’s owners.
The civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Clinton County Court.
Tyler and Holly Harrison, the parents of 15-month-old Lucas Harrison who was bit by a dog on March 15, filed the petition through attorney John Frey. The petition alleges one count against Kris and Ashley Greene for dog owners’ strict liability, and two counts against the Clinton Humane Society for product liability, negligence and breach of express warranty.
The incident has registered national attention, with a GoFundMe page registering $170,000 from donors throughout the United States. Ashley was cited for owning a dangerous dog by the city of Clinton. She pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
According to the lawsuit, the Clinton Humane Society on or about March 15, sold or distributed a dog named Emmet to the Greenes. The petition states the “foreseeable risks of harm” posed by the dog could have been reduced or avoided by the provision of reasonable instructions or warnings.
The petition states the harm posed by the dog could have been reduced or avoided in several circumstances, including:
Instructing the Greenes on proper precautions to be taken when transitioning a dog from a shelter facility to a family home environment.
Instructing the Greenes on the proper precautions to be taken when bringing their dog into the home of a friend, where another dog, an infant and small children are present.
Warning the Greenes that the Clinton Humane Society’s ability to determine whether or not a dog is child friendly is extremely limited rather than telling them the dog being sold and distributed to them was child friendly.
Warning the Greenes the dog in question came to the Clinton Humane Society from a dog shelter in Louisiana where the dog had been in shelter for more than five months and was scheduled to be euthanized.
Warning the Greenes the dog in question could be a pit bull mix, even though it was allegedly advertised by the Clinton Humane Society as a boxer mix.
Warning the Greenes to be especially cautious with the dog when in the presence of infants and small children.
The petition states the omission of the instructions or warnings renders the dog not reasonably safe. The petition says the omission of the instructions or warnings and the giving of an instruction the dog was child friendly was a cause of the damages incurred by Lucas.
The petition alleges the Clinton Humane Society sold or distributed the dog to the Greenes and expressly warranted the dog as child friendly.
Damages alleged to have been done to Lucas by the dog include incurring expenses beyond his 18th birthday for hospitalization, medical and nursing care, therapy and prescription drugs. They also say the child has experienced and will continue to experience great pain, suffering and mental anguish and in the future loss of bodily function. They also allege in the petition he will incur loss of future earning capacity.
Also alleged in the petition is the parents’ well-being, with them to continue to fund medical, hospitalization, nursing, drug, physical and emotional therapy expenses until Lucas’ 18th birthday. The petition also states that Holly witnessed the injury and has suffered and will continue to suffer mental pain, anguish and emotional distress.
The one count against the Greenes states the Greens are strictly liable for all damages done by their dog, citing Iowa code section 351.28.