On April 13, 2012, little Marley H., who was about 2 years old at the time, was playing in the living room of family member's home in Oceanside, California. There was a pitt bull present and Marley was going to put a sticker on the dog. The dog turned towards her and viciously bite her in the face. She had to be airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Thankfully, a plastic surgeon named Dr. Vecchione was there to help with her facial wounds which turned out to be multiple puncture wounds. She received puncture wounds to the face and a laceration to the left cheek next to the lip.
I retained Marley through her parents. The dog owners were renters but they rented in military housing. Thankfully I was able to secure the attention of two types of policies. One was renters insurance through USAA, and one was the landlord liability insurance through State Farm. In California, it is difficult to secure liability against the landlord with a tenant's dog that bites someone. Here, we had plenty of policy to go after with the renter's policy, USAA, but I was able to secure $5,000.00 in medical pay benefits from the landlord policy, State Farm.
Luckily for Marley, her facial wounds healed very well thanks to the efforts of Dr. Vecchione. I was able to settle the case without the need for a lawsuit. Since Marley was under 18 years of age, her settlement would need court approval. I secured this approval with Judge Kevin Enright in Department 74 with the dowtown San Diego Superior Court, Hall of Justice. I did not stop there. I employed Manny Valdez of Ringler and Associates to structure the settlement with Marley using an annuity. This means Marley's net recovery goes into a contract with a triple a rated insurance to guarantee her tax free payments over a pre-arranged time. She will start getting lump sum payments beginning at age 18, until she turns 30 years old. Since she is a minor, her net recovery has to go into a blocked account supervised by the court anyway. This way she truly maximizes her net recovery. In fact, by the time it is all said and done, she will be netting just under $130,000.00 in tax free net recovery! I am truly happy for her speedy recovery and great result on this case.