Defendant seeks summary judgment in mailman's dog attack suit

David Yates Jun. 8, 2012, 5:24am

A defendant is contending he never lived at the home where a U.S. Postal Service employee claims he was attacked two separate times by another man's dog.

Marcus Lockhart filed suit against John Fore Jr. and Lloyd Hughes on July 20, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging Fore knew his dog had a "propensity to attack people" but still refused to lock the fence gate and keep the canine in the backyard.

On May 22, Hughes filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there is not enough evidence to support any negligence claims against him, court papers say.

The motion states that the property where the attacks took place was being leased by Fore and that Hughes has never resided at the dwelling.

Hughes is asking the court to dismiss all claims against him.

Court records show the first incident occurred July 28, 2008. Lockhart was making a delivery to a Beaumont home in the 700 block of Highland Drive "when he was attacked by a large black dog that came out of the gate that was left open," the suit states.

The second incident occurred a year later on April 19, 2009. Lockhart was delivering mail to the same home when the "large black dog came out of the gate that was again left open," court papers say.

"When he saw the dog coming, he placed the mailbag between him and the dog," the suit states. "Lockhart fell to the ground and twisted his left knee and ankle. Animal Control was called."

The suit also alleges Hughes "was aware of the dogs' vicious nature."

Lockhart is suing for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, impairment and mental anguish, plus court costs.

Port Arthur attorney Allen Parker represents Lockhart.

Beaumont attorney Joshua Heinz of Benckenstein & Oxford represents Hughes.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. E187-335

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