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Berkeley County settles K-9 lawsuit for $50,000

July 28, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A woman attacked by a Berkeley County Sheriff's Department K-9 in 2004 has received $50,000 for the injuries she received, Berkeley County's legal services director confirmed Friday.

"The (county's) insurance company made the decision to settle the claim," Norwood Bentley III said. "The insurance company paid the claim on behalf of the county."

According to attorney Harry P. Waddell, his client, Annjeana Moore of Bunker Hill, W.Va., was bitten by the dog while standing in the yard of her residence on June 30, 2004.

Sheriff's deputies Thomas A. Young and Scott Myers responded to a call at the Moore residence to investigate an assault on a neighbor by a man who had fled the scene, Waddell said.

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"After unsuccessfully attempting to track the assailant with his police dog, Young placed the dog in his cruiser with the window partially rolled down," Waddell said.

During a verbal altercation between one of the deputies and a group of neighbors displeased with the sheriff's department's response to the assault, the police dog jumped through the open window of the cruiser and attacked Moore, inflicting severe bites to her leg and arm, Waddell said.

Waddell said Young subsequently filed criminal charges against Moore, claiming she had obstructed justice and committed battery by kicking him, but those charges were dismissed.

Moore then filed a lawsuit against the deputies, which led to the settlement, Waddell said.

"As with all settlements, the defendants admit no fault, however, the amount of the settlement clearly indicates that the defendants believed that they would not fare well if the facts of this case were presented to a jury," Waddell said.

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