BWB&O’s client was an individual dog owner, which undisputedly bit Plaintiff, a pedestrian on a public sidewalk. Defendant did not deny that his dog had bitten Plaintiff. The dispute at trial focused on two main issues: (1) the specific circumstances that led to the bite; and (2) the severity of the actual damage caused by the minor bite. Specifically, Plaintiff claimed that the bite caused a traumatic shoulder injury requiring surgery a year after the incident.
The incident occurred in October 2014, and had been in litigation since October 2016, including going through Nevada’s mandatory non-binding arbitration program, where Ms. Arcellana obtained a full defense verdict in October 2017. Clearly dissatisfied with this outcome, Plaintiff sought a trial de novo in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada. At the conclusion of the 10-day jury trial, Plaintiff sought an award of $405,000.00, inclusive of both past and future general damages, despite the fact that she had not sought any medical care since January 2016. During closing argument, Ms. Arcellana argued that should the jury find Defendant was negligent, that a more modest award would be appropriate – commensurate with the minimal nature of the bite itself. The jury ultimately adopted Ms. Arcellana’s recommendation and awarded Plaintiff just $7,000.00 for her damages, well below Defendant’s Offer of Judgment served in 2017.