Trailer park sued over dog attack

By John O'Brien | Sep 15, 2006

CHARLESTON - A Dunbar man says he was attacked by a dog and lists six defendants on his lawsuit.

CHARLESTON - A Dunbar man says he was attacked by a dog and lists six defendants on his lawsuit.

Thomas Griffith Lucas filed it Sept. 6 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Fairlawn Mobile Home Park, Hatfield Enterprises, Robert Hatfield, Kathy Hess, Pat Higginbotham and Debbie Higginbotham.

He blames all of them for having a hand in a dog attack that took place Dec. 9.

"The dog was not properly chained and ran loose throughout Fairlawn Mobile Home Park," the complaint says.

It adds that "after arriving home at Fairlawn Mobile Home Park, (Lucas) was attacked by the previously mentioned dog, suffering a compound fracture to the leg and other serious injuries. The plaintiff was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance for his injuries and has been forced to see numerous doctors and medical professionals as a result thereof."

Lucas says he was off work for roughly seven months and that he had previously complained to employees at Fairlawn that the dog was dangerous.

The complaint specifies that the dog was owned by Debbie Higginbotham and chained at the mobile home owned by Pat Higginbotham.

Kathy Hess is being sued as an employee of Fairlawn, and Hatfield is being sued as the president and/or director of Hatfield Enterprises and Fairlawn Mobile Home Park.

Lucas says that he believes that Fairlawn adopted a policy preventing large dogs from being located outside the mobile homes in the park, though it was violated by Higginbotham's dog.

He is seeking punitive damages, as well as compensatory damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience, lost wages, lost employment opportunities, economic consequences, severe emotional distress and mental anguish.

William Forbes of Charleston's Forbes Law Office is representing Lucas.

Judge James Stucky has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1817

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