Personal injury law firm Zagoria Law announced Thursday that it filed the lawsuit against Rosa Garcia on behalf of Zhongkai Mao, 77. The suit says Mao was attacked because Garcia did not keep the dogs restrained so they wouldn’t leave her property.
The attack left Mao with deep wounds on his leg and his family previously told the Daily Post that he, at one point, faced the possibility of having his leg amputated.
“Mr. Mao is suffering severely and, according to doctors, will possibly need years of rehabilitation,” attorney Brooks Neely said in a statement. “At Zagoria Law, our priority in every dog bite case is to ensure that dog owners are held responsible for the actions of their pets when those actions cause injury to others.”
The filing of the lawsuit came as Mao began vacuum therapy on his leg. His son-in-law, Robert Davis, posted an update on a GoFundMe page Tuesday, in which he said Mao began the therapy at the hospital this week.
“If successful, he will continue long term vacuum treatment at home, which according to the social worker he will be on his own to pay for,” Davis wrote in the update. “After several weeks of treatment, skin grafts may be necessary.”
Mao’s family has been raising funds for his recovery through their GoFundMe page. He immigrated to Georgia from China earlier this year, and did not have a job or insurance to help cover his medical costs. So far, $4,255 has been raised, with a goal to raise $300,000.
In his update, Davis said the family is limited to going after Garcia’s homeowners insurance liability coverage and they expect that will be split between Mao and the other two victims in the attack.
Zagoria officials said they were not aware of any lawsuits being filed yet by the other victims.
The dogs attacked a 16-year old girl near the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road and Emerald Forest Court on April 2. After a passerby pulled her into their car to get her away from the pit bulls, the dogs attacked Mao.
His leg was bleeding uncontrollably afterward and a tourniquet had to be applied, according to a Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement report.
The dogs then wandered into a neighborhood and severely attacked another man in his backyard.
All three victims had to be taken to local hospitals. The Animal Welfare and Enforcement report also said a car crashed on Five Forks Trickum because of the attack on the first victim.
Garcia surrendered the dogs to Animal Welfare and Enforcement officers once they discovered who the pit bulls belonged to. County officials said the dogs were later euthanized and their bodies were sent off to a lab for rabies tests, which came back negative.
(Gwinnett Daily Post - Apr 12, 2018)