It wasn’t me: Two “small terrier-like dogs” terrorised a woman pushbike rider and cost their owner more than $100,000 after the bike rider sued for damages. The un-named dogs – similar to the pictured terrier – continued to “nip and bark” at the woman even after she fell.
成都夜网

TWO terriers who terrorised a woman on a pushbike have cost their owner more than $100,000.

The “two small terrier-type dogs” barked and nipped at Deborah Coleman on October 12, 2014 as she rode in a Sydney parkuntil she lost control, hit a fence and landed heavily on the road, cracking her helmet and fracturing a vertebrae.

Although a stunned and injured Ms Coleman was unable to move, the terriers “continued to nip and bark at her while she was lying there”, NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson said in a decision awarding Ms Coleman $105,564 damages.

The figure could be even higher after Judge Gibson ordered the terriers’ owner, Leonie Wood, to pay Ms Coleman’s legal costs, but left open a chance to argue against the costs order in a Newcastle District Court hearing in March.

In October Judge Audrey Balla made a default judgment against Ms Wood after she failed to file a defence against the claim her unleashed and uncontrolled dogs caused Ms Coleman’s fall and injuries, including a fractured vertebrae and “deep gouging puncture wound” in the abdomen requiring two days in hospital.

Ms Wood failed to appear at the hearing before Judge Gibson on December 12, without an explanation to the court, and despite being “an employed person in a position of some responsibility”.

“This is not a case where the defendant (Ms Wood) is under any intellectual or physical disadvantage of the kind that would excite the Court’s concern,” Judge Gibson said.

The hearing included photos taken by Ms Coleman’s husband and stepdaughter, who were riding in the Sydney park with her, showing Ms Coleman on the ground after the fall with the terriers barking and nipping at her.

Ms Coleman was “unable, because of the severe pain inher left knee and right shoulder, to get up”, Judge Gibson noted.

Ms Wood “made no attempt to come towards the terrier dogs or restrain them and they were eventually restrained by the plaintiff’s step-daughter”.

Ms Coleman and her husband gave evidence that the dogs chased and barked at all three bike riders, and when Ms Wood was asked to control the dogs she replied that the park was a “leash-free” area and did not respond.

Judge Gibson accepted Ms Coleman’s evidence that she was “likely to have some difficulty getting back into full time work” in the community management sphere because restrictions on her neck made computer work, sitting for long periods and driving difficult.

Judge Gibson accepted that the accident had had “asignificant impact on her capacity for work and life generally”.

The $105,000 damages order included $52,000 as a “buffer for future economic loss”.