Following two separate hectic encounters with the same "big black dog," a U.S. Postal Service employee is taking action by suing the owner of the canine.
Mail carrier Marcus Lockhart filed suit against John Fore Jr. on July 20 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging Fore knew his dog had a "propensity to attack people" but still refused to lock the gate to his fence and keep the canine in the backyard.
In his suit, Lockhart says the dog attacked him twice in about a year's time.
The first incident occurred July 28, 2008. Lockhart was making a delivery to a Beaumont home at 783 Highland Drive "when he was attacked by a large black dog that came out of the gate that was left open," the suit states.
Lockhart shielded himself from the dog with his mailbag but still received a cut on his right hand. Animal control was called afterwards.
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 claims Fore knew his dog had a propensity to attack people but negligently refused to keep the canine on a leash or secured in the backyard.
The suit also names Lloyd Hughes as a defendant and alleges he "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.
He is represented by Port Arthur attorney Allen Parker.
The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.
Case No. E187-335