A jury has awarded $3.7 million to a woman permanently injured in a brutal dog attack finding that the Delray Beach, Florida city officials were not only at fault but were more culpable than the dog’s owner. The jury assigned 60% of the blame to the city making Delray Beach potentially liable for more than $2.2 million in damages; the homeowner/dog owner was assigned the remaining 40%.
Marguene St. Juste worked as a hotel housekeeper before the attack which resulted in her right arm being rendered useless. St. Juste was attacked by two Rottweiler mix dogs that Delray Beach officials had been warned about many times; the dogs were often walking around without leashes. Every time officials responded to the calls, the dogs were found secured on the dog owner’s property. One time, however, a code enforcement supervisor did find the dogs on the loose, but no citation was issued.
St. Juste spent two weeks in the hospital following the vicious attack and can no longer work or take care of her three children the way she once did. The jury awarded her $56,000 for past medical bills, $26,500 for past lost wages; $178,000 for future earning capacity; $400,000 for pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life in the past; and 3.1 million for the future.