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Man, 81, sues DeKalb County for not preventing ‘vicious’ dog attack

Joseph John says in a new lawsuit, that DeKalb County authorities could have prevented the 2016 dog attack that left him with critical injuries.

John, 81, lives on Henderson Pines Court in Tucker, through the woods from the Lavista Road home of Dimitre Spiriev and Bistra Spiriev, the suit says. The suit, filed Monday in DeKalb County State Court, argues authorities should’ve taken action in 2013 after one of the Spirievs’ two dogs bit another person. 

The county doesn’t comment on pending litigation. 

The 2013 report says the dog bite victim didn’t want to take the Spirievs to court.

But John’s suit argues the county should’ve investigated the couple’s dogs back then. The suit says, had the county taken the first case more seriously, the dogs wouldn’t have been a danger to John on June 18, 2016.

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He was in his backyard watering plants when the dogs appeared.

“Both of Spirievs’ dogs knocked Mr. John to the ground and severely mauled him, inflicting life-threatening wounds to his head, face, arms, and body,” the suit says, adding that his medical bills exceeded $150,000.

The lawsuit does not mention the dogs’ breed.

The Spirievs, who court records show settled a 2016 injury suit John filed against them, couldn’t be reached for comment. The terms of the settlement weren’t public.


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According to the 2013 incident report, one of the couple’s dogs allegedly attacked another dog, whose owner in turn pepper-sprayed the animal. The Spiriev dog allegedly bit the owner.

John is asking for a jury to decide how much he’s owed.

“These injuries are permanent,” the suit says, “and, in the future, Joseph John will suffer permanent physical impairment, severe bodily scarring and disfigurement, medical and other necessary expenses, and mental and physical pain and suffering.”


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