1997 Dog-Attack Case Filed


PAINTSVILLE—Sheila Crouse was three years old back on November 27, 1997, when she was, she has alleged in a lawsuit filed last week in the Johnson Circuit Court, “attacked” by a large dog later identified as a Pit Bull-Rottweiler mix.

The alleged attack was, according to John Kirk, whose law firm represents Sheila Crouse, “life-alternating for Sheila, and the attack, among other things, mauled and disfigured her beautiful little three-year-old face,” Kirk said.

Following the alleged attack, the plaintiff’s injuries “resulted in medical expenses, both past and future, pain and suffering, both past and future, lost enjoyment of life and permanent scarring,” according to the complaint.

The alleged attack occurred at the home of plaintiff’s grand parents, Sam and Emma Music of Oil Springs, owners of the dog, according to the complaint. “Mr. and Mrs. Music had a home owners’ insurance policy, but the insurance company would not pay for Sheila’s medical care,” according to Kirk.

Now, almost 15 years after the alleged attack, a lawsuit has been filed by Sheila Crouse against Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company alleging, among other things, that the insurance company engaged in “bad faith” by refusing to pay the claim for medical treatment. “Sheila dearly loves her grandparents and is not expecting to be paid by them,” Kirk said. “What Sheila wants is for the insurance company to do the right thing and ‘cover’ what happened and pay all these past and future medical bills.”

The complaint, filed by Phillip Blair and Kyle Salyer from the Kirk firm, demands that the plaintiff be paid for past and future medical expenses, past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, damages for embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish and pain and suffering, damages for lost enjoyment of life and for mental anguish and damages for permanent scaring.

Additionally, the lawsuit requests “punitive damages,” because, according to Kirk, “there was absolutely no legitimate reason for the insurance company to refuse to pay for the medical treatment Sheila has undergone and endured for so long. For that, the insurance company should pay.”

Kirk also stated that the time for filing such a suit did not start running until the plaintiff reached the age of 18.