A pet duck with "dangerous propensities" is at the centre of a $275,000 lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday , (pdf doc), in Clackamas County, Oregon. It claims the plaintiff, Cynthia Ruddell,62, of Washougal, Washington, stepped out of her motor home on property owned by her mother in Estacada on May 7, 2012 when a "domestic duck" attacked her. The woman fell on her outstretched hand, breaking her wrist and spraining her elbow and shoulder.
"I can tell you that when she first contacted me, we both shared a laugh at the circumstances around the accident," said Ruddell's attorney, Gregory Price. "But, unfortunately, the injury was pretty serious." Ruddell had to get a plate and nine screws in her wrist. Further problems required a second surgery. The duck is owned by Lolita Rose. The lawsuit claims she was negligent for failing to maintain proper control of her domestic animal.
Price said the owner has acknowledged that the duck "had issues" before this incident, including prior attacks. The lawsuit states the duck had "abnormally dangerous propensities in attacking people in an aggressive manner similar to how it attacked and injured Mrs. Ruddell." Price said there is no dispute in the case regarding liability, which is the same whether it's a duck or a dog.
Price said there is an "excellent chance" of resolving the claim with the insurance company without any further litigation, resulting in no personal liability for Rose, since it will be paid entirely under her homeowner's policy. The lawsuit states medical expenses for Ruddell have added up to approximately $25,000. The additional $250,000 claim is for "past and future noneconomic damages in an amount to be determined by the jury."
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