A County Westmeath postman has successfully claimed injury compensation for being attacked by a dog while trying to deliver post to a house in Kilbeggan.
Sixty-three year old Joseph Dunne from Kilbeggan, County Westmeath, was attempting to deliver post to house in Kilbeggan when, on 8th October 2008, a husky-type dog escaped from the garden of the house through a hole in the hedge and attacked him.
Joseph was knocked to the pavement by the dog, who continued to claw and bite him while the terrified postman was lying on the floor. Fortunately a passer-by was able to stop the attack by hitting the dog across the back with a stick and Joseph was rushed to hospital.
At the hospital, Joseph was treated for lacerations to the right side of his face and received twenty-two stitches. He also have to receive treatment for nerve damage just below his forehead and, once the stitches from his cuts were removed, he had to undergo plastic surgery to hide the worst of his scars.
Joseph returned to his postal duties soon after the attack, but made a claim for injury compensation for being attacked by the dog against the animal´s owners – Olive Dalton and Martin Maher of Dublin Road, Kilbeggan. The couple denied their liability for Joseph´s injuries, despite having had the dog put down following the attack, and the case was heard at the High Court in Dublin.
At the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty heard Ms Dalton and Mr Maher denying that they had been negligent in failing to enclose their garden securely and allowing the dog to escape; however the judge found in Joseph´s favour and, awarding him €55,000 injury compensation for being attacked by a dog, commended Joseph for returning to work so quickly after his frightening incident.