• Jury awards $72 million to DeKalb girl mauled by pit bulls


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County jury has awarded the family of a girl attacked by two pit bulls $72 million.
    The dogs mauled Erin Ingram, 13, nearly five years ago.
    “My mouth fell to the floor. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’” said Tommie Ingram, Erin’s father.
    The jury awarded the $72 million in punitive and compensatory damages for the 2010 pit bull attack that tore off Erin’s left arm below the elbow and mangled her right arm.
    It took the jury only 45 minutes to come back with the verdict.
    “We didn’t ask for anything near this and the jury came back and told us afterwards that they wanted to make a statement,” said Ingram’s attorney Kevin Adamsom.
    That statement: That owners of vicious dogs must be held responsible for their animals behavior.
    Erin was 8 years old when she was attacked  by two neighborhood dogs in her family's driveway as she was playing basketball.
    She had six operations in the first six months following her injury, plus more than a dozen in all, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
    Erin’s father says she has some use of her right arm and very little use of her left arm.
    Tommie Ingram says his daughter’s spirits are good, but she still has nightmares.
    He says the dogs' owner has little or no money and says it’s doubtful they will ever get a penny from the judgment.
    The Ingrams’ lawyer says the verdict isn't about the money but the message.
    “The community will stand up even if they have to do it in a jury box. This community will not allow these vicious dogs to go unpunished,” Adamson said.
    The police officer who rescued Erin fatally shot one of the dogs that attacked her. The other was later euthanized.
    Tommie Ingram told Channel 2’s Diana Davis that the owner has never said she's sorry or expressed remorse over the attack.
    Davis asked him what he would say to her if he saw her.
    “May God bless you. That’s all I can say,” said Ingram.

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