Thursday, October 04, 2007

City pays $27,000 to man who says cop shot his dog
Tribune staff report
September 23, 2007

City officials have agreed to pay $27,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a West Side man who said police shot and killed his dog last year while chasing a suspect.Calvin Hale alleged that a police officer ran into his yard in the 5200 block of West Race Avenue and stumbled on his 10-year-old Akita, Lady.The officer shot the dog and continued the chase, Hale said in a lawsuit filed in February in Cook County Circuit Court.

"I think Lady, at the end of the day, was worth more than $27,000 to him, but there are practical benefits to resolving the litigation," Hale's attorney, Amy Breyer, said Friday.City officials acknowledged the settlement, but declined to comment further on Friday. They admit no wrongdoing in the settlement, which was reached Wednesday.

The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2006. Hale said his dog had no history of biting or bad behavior.

Breyer said she hoped the settlement would put the city and others on notice that "you can't do what happened here without there being any repercussions."Breyer is one of a small number of lawyers who specialize in animal-related cases and sometimes seek to expand the reach of animal law.Lawsuits over injuries to animals have begun to be taken more seriously, Breyer said.

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