Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Texas: Joseph Mooring was mauled in 2015 by two Pit Bulls. Court awarded him more than $5 million, but it's unlikely he'll ever collect from Greg Gonzalez

TEXAS -- A Bryan man who was attacked by two pit bulls while walking along Old Kurten Road in November 2015 was awarded a $5.1 million judgment last week, according to his lawyer.

Joseph Mooring suffered numerous bites, requiring three major skin grafts and extensive surgeries, said his lawyer, Davis Watson.

Mooring has permanent nerve damage to his right leg and his right forearm, where tendons were severed, and is no longer able to work.

The judgment was signed Friday by 85th District Court Judge Kyle Hawthorne. Although he's entitled to the $5.1 million, Watson said the likelihood of Mooring collecting the money is slim, as it's not clear if there are any assets or insurance to satisfy the judgment.

The attack occurred in the early morning of Nov. 3, 2015, when Mooring, who was 54 at the time, was walking along Old Kurten Road on his way to work at McDonald's. Suddenly and without warning, Watson said, two pit bulls charged Mooring as he crossed in front of a house, knocking him to the ground.

Mooring doesn't remember the attack, Watson said, likely due to blood loss.

Two Bryan police officers who responded were credited with saving his life after noticing an arterial bleed on Mooring's arm and applying a tourniquet.

Mooring was treated at St. Joseph hospital, where he stayed for a month and underwent six surgeries. His medical bills totaled more than $450,000.

The dogs' owner, Gregory Flores Gonzalez, lived with his mother, Sandra Gonzalez, on Old Kurten Road. Mooring's lawsuit asserted that the two, along with Michael Gonzalez -- who was not named in the judgment -- failed to protect Mooring's safety, confine and control the dogs, handle them properly or train them to cease attacking upon voiced commands.

According to the lawsuit, a neighbor who came outside during the attack had hit the dogs to get them to release Mooring, and the pit bulls had "numerous problems" in the neighborhood and were "known to be vicious."

The lawsuit also sought damages for physical pain, impairment and disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of earnings and future medical expenses.

Watson described Mooring as a healthy, hard worker who loved attending family functions and playing with his grandkids before the incident.

Mooring now can no longer work or take part in the activities he enjoyed, Watson said, and his body "is completely scarred."

(The Eagle - January 31, 2017)