Mother of child attacked by dog sends legal letter to owner

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Jalil, three, was attacked by a dog on Monday at the family’s home in Barrackpore. –

THE family of three-year-old Jalil Naidoo, who suffered severe injuries from a dog attack on Monday, has retained former AG Anand Ramlogan’s Freedom Law Chambers.

Attorney Robert Abdool-Mitchell, representing the law firm, has issued a pre-action protocol letter to the dog owner on their behalf.

The owner has been given until November 21 to respond, pending legal claims of negligence against him.

The family is seeking interim and substantive relief.

The letter has also indicated an intention to write to acting CoP Mc Donald Jacob to investigate claims by the mother of the child, Cassyann Phoenix Jagroop, about the unprofessional conduct of an investigating police officer.

Phoenix Jagroop said she did not want to go this route, but the dog owner was unfair to her.

“If he had dealt with me fairly from the beginning, I would not have taken legal action, because money does not matter to me. What matters is my child’s well-being.”

She said the incident has caused her trauma, and social media responses have further aggravated the situation, as some commentators are claiming that the injuries her son suffered do not look like a dog bite, but a knife attack.

“I would never hurt my son. Once he reached the hospital, if it was a knife attack the doctors treating him would have been able to tell the difference.”

Two days after his third birthday on November 13, Jalil was in the porch of his Mussarap North, GP Road, Barrackpore home, when he attacked by a neighbour’s dog, identified as an Akita mix.

Phoenix Jagroop commended the doctors who did plastic surgery on Jalil’s face on Tuesday. He is recovering at the San Fernando General Hospital.

The pre-action protocol letter, which was served on November 16, says: “Having regard to the injuries sustained by our clients we have been instructed to file a claim against you in the High Court of Justice seeking compensation (including aggravated and exemplary damages) for the physical, psychological and emotional injuries sustained by Jalil and his mother as a direct result of your negligence.”

It said Jalil “suffered several deep lacerations to his face which were similar to chop wounds. He is currently awaiting surgery at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).

“The mother is traumatised and in a state of nervous shock. She will obviously need treatment, counselling and therapy. Details of their injuries and condition will be provided at the appropriate time when they become available.

“At this stage however, we write to inquire whether you are prepared to admit liability based on your negligence for the injuries caused.”

The attorney claims the dog posed a serious danger and threat to the community, but no adequate measures were taken to prevent its escape from the owner’s compound.

The dog owner has been given three days to give an unequivocal undertaking to pay for the child’s medical treatment at a private institution, which would result in Jalil’s expedient and optimal care and treatment.

The family is seeking damages, including aggravated damages, for the negligence and/or nuisance and/or assault and battery and consequential loss, including the cost of future medical treatment.