Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mauled in pit bull attack, she settles lawsuit for $450,000

NEW YORK -- A 66-year-old woman, whose arm was mangled in a pit bull attack two years ago on a Dongan Hills street, has accepted a $450,000 settlement, said her lawyer.

Lucille Fundaro suffered severe injuries to her arm, requiring extensive surgery and agonizing skin grafts, said her lawyer, Anthony L. Ameduri.

The terrifying attack occurred on Aug. 24, 2013, on Dumont Avenue, a quiet residential street, according to court papers and Advance reports.


In a hospital interview afterward, Ms. Fundaro, a New Dorp resident, told the Advance she was attending a barbecue on Dumont when she left to greet a friend across the street.

That's when she saw a pit bull charge at her, she said.

Ms. Fundaro, whose home had been battered 10 months earlier by Hurricane Sandy, said she stood her ground as the dog tore a thick chunk of flesh from the underside of her right forearm, exposing the bone.

A second, smaller pit bull then came over and began sniffing a piece of her flesh, which the larger dog had ripped from her forearm and had dropped on the pavement, she said.

The smaller dog's actions distracted the larger dog, allowing her to escape and quite possibly saving her life, Ms. Fundaro told the Advance.

Ms. Fundaro was treated at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, where she underwent several surgeries and skin grafts, said Ameduri.

Ms. Fundaro sued Helaine DeSilva, who owned the property where the dogs were housed, along with the residents Britney and Carlos Novoa, the lawyer said.

She alleged the defendants failed to control and maintain the dogs, which, according to neighbors, had vicious propensities, Ameduri said.

The suit was filed in state Supreme Court, St. George, and was recently settled with the defendants' insurance carrier before trial, said Ameduri, a partner in the West Brighton firm Ameduri, Galante, D'Agostino & Friscia.

( - March 29, 2015)

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