Diatribe: The $275,000 Duck Attack.
I’ve never been afraid of animals. Like many, I was taught at an early age that animals can sense fear and that you should never let them know that you’re afraid of them. Over the years, I’ve had encounters with a variety of animals. I’ve worked with rodeo bulls and evaded alligators and snakes in the Florida Everglades. I’ve seen wild bears in the mountains and buffalo crossing the roads of the western U.S. Never have I run from an animal because that only makes them chase you. (Insects are another story. I run from bugs all the time!)
In all this time, I’ve only been attacked once … by a goose. I was very young, a toddler, when my parents introduced me to what they thought was a harmless barnyard bird. But the goose, which seemed gigantic at the time, chased me until I fell down and pecked at my. My parents still laugh about it.
Cynthia Rudell’s mother can laugh with her all the way to the bank. According to a lawsuit filed in Oregon state court last Friday, Ruddell, 62, of Washougal, Washington, was on her mother’s property in Estacada, Oregon when a neighbor’s duck attacked her without provocation in May 2012. While trying to run away from the angry waterfowl, she fell to the ground, broke a wrist and sprained an elbow and shoulder.
Rudell’s complaint accuses the bird’s owner, Lolita Rose, of failing to maintain control of her pet or “to warn or otherwise inform neighbors of her duck’s dangerous propensity in attacking individuals”. Ruddell, a retired nurse, is seeking up to $275,000 in damages, including about $25,000 for medical expenses and the remainder for pain, suffering and the toll her injuries have taken on her daily life.
Her lawyer anticipates that damages will ultimately be paid by Rose’s insurance policy but filing a lawsuit was necessary as a precaution because of continuing medical bills from a second surgery on Rudell’s wrist and a two-year statute of limitations on claims of this nature.
Apparently, the people of Estacada are safe … Rose had her duck killed shortly after the incident.
The goose that jumped toddler me went free and I received no compensation for the toll the incident has taken on my daily life.
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