After nearly a year of litigation, discovery is heating up in a suit filed by a U.S. Postal Service employee who sued a Beaumont man after being attacked two separate times by the man's dog.

As previously reported, Marcus Lockhart filed suit against John Fore Jr. 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 March 7 Lockhart responded to Fore's discovery requests, signaling the discovery phase of the case is in full swing.

According to the certificate of discovery, Lockhart responded to Fore's interrogatories, request for production and request for disclosure.

Lockhart says in his suit that the dog attacked him twice in about a year's time.

Court records show 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.

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 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.

Port Arthur attorney Allen Parker represents him.

The defendants are represented by Beaumont attorneys Joshua Heinz and Christy Amuny.

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

Case No. E187-335

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