Courts

Dallas City Hall Wants $20,000 from Dog Owner Whose Pit Bull Attacked a Code Inspector

A Dallas code inspector named Donna Garza was making her appointed rounds back in December 2010 when she came upon the home of Loyd Ferrell Ray, in a tree-lined neighborhood south of Preston Hollow.

As she conducted her routine inspection of his home, Ray's pit bull got loose somehow, and drew a bead on the inspector. Garza was injured. And now the city is suing Ray.

"At no time did Garza provoke the pit bull dog," says the complaint alleging negligence, filed in Dallas district court. The lawsuit doesn't say how badly she was injured. Tom Perkins, the city attorney, declined to elaborate. But it makes clear that the city is out nearly $20,000 in worker's compensation benefits paid to Garza, and it wants Ray to pony up the entire bill.

"Defendant, as having dominion and control of the pit bull that is responsible for the aforesaid incident, owed a duty to Garza to keep her safe from dangerous conditions by properly constraining and/or confining the dangerous and vicious dog," the complaint reads. "Defendant exposed Garza to a dangerous animal which the Defendant knew or should have known had dangerous propensities."

As such, the city figures, Ray's liable.

Be forewarned, Dallas dog owners: Secure your animals. The city will come after you.

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Brantley Hargrove