Bullhead City Mayor and Husband Attacked by Dogs

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Over 300,000 victims hospitalized each year from wounds by dogs

Every year in the United States, there are approximately 4.5 million reported dog bites victims.  And annually there are more than 300,000 people are admitted to hospitals for treatment for dog-bite wounds.

Former mayor of Bullhead City, Diane Vick was hospitalized and her husband, Tom, died when they tried to intervene after one of their six dogs, a boxer, attacked another, a cocker spaniel. They were flown 90 miles north to a hospital in Las Vegas.

Tom Vick, 64, who taught social studies at Mohave High School, died of his injuries, current Mayor Jack Hakim said. Diane Vick “was pretty well beat up.” Hakim said he didn’t believe her injuries were critical.

Hakim called the incident “pretty devastating.”

“We’ve had dog bites before but never something like this,” he said. “It’s very sad for us in Bullhead City. She was former mayor and he was a prominent high school teacher at Mohave High School. … We’re just grateful that at least one of them was able to survive.”

The dogs are being held at an Animal Control facility

Many states have a dog bite law that gives a dog “one free bite,” but Arizona is not a one free bite state.  Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 11-1020 and 11-1025.A impose strict liability on the owner of the dog.

In Arizona, when injuries are cause by a dog bite, the owner and/or person responsible for the dog may be legally obligated to pay the victim’s damages unless it can be proven that the victim provoked the attack.  Home owners’ insurance policies can be usually leveraged as compensation for such injuries. In this case, because the owners of the dogs were attacked themselves, it is not likely that this will need to be leveraged.

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