In 2005, the jury rendered a decision awarding the complainant of damagesamounting $300,000 in past pain and suffering and $700,000 in future pain and suffering over 10 years. The owner of the pit bull as opponent however moved to reduce the award on both past and future pain and suffering on the ground that it was excessive.
The testimony of the complainant, his expert physician, and the opponent’s expert physician establishes that the complainant suffered and continued to suffer at the time of the trial a combination of injuries that diminished his enjoyment of life. One component of the personal injuries is his emotional distress from the dog’s violent attack, including intense fear immediately before and during the attack, flashbacks, and an ongoing, intense phobia of dogs that causes him to avoid all dogs. Another element is his nightmares and consequent fatigue.
The physical elements of the complainant’s pain and suffering obtained from the dog bites themselves, to both his abdomen and his penis. The raised scar and nerve damage to his penis cause both pain and loss of sensation and consequent sexual dysfunction, which was total for several months following the attack and reduced his sexual functioning permanently. The physical consequences in turn aggravate his emotional anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and lost self-esteem in his line of work, intimate relations, and sexual performance.