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Amber Portwood, 29, has been in the public eye since 2009 after starring in two of MTV’s most controversial reality television series, ‘16 and Pregnant’ and‘Teen Mom’ with her first child Leah Leann Shirley. Throughout the years, her violent outbursts and alleged possession of illegal substances such as marijuana and crack cocaine have kept her in the public eye and also provoked legal intervention. Recently, after a reported dog bite, Indiana Child Protective Services have raised a new wave of concern.
According to newly obtained documents, the father of Portwood’s second child Andrew Glennon has not only violated their custody agreement but has also been untruthful about an alleged attack by a family dog. Portwood claims that while their son James was under his father’s care, he was “nipped” by the family dog and rushed to the ER. Portwood later professed that photos of the injury featured a black eye and bandaged nose, which suggests a much more serious attack.
Due to a domestic violence incident in 2019 involving a machete, Portwood and Glennon are currently involved in a ferocious custody battle. Among her demands, Portwood wants her ex to be held in contempt of court, forced to pay her legal fees and spend more time with their son. Portwood also wants to prevent Glennon from moving to Malibu, California, which would make co-parenting more difficult.
California has very strict dog bite laws in place, especially when it comes to dog bites on children. As detailed by California Civil Code section 3342, a dog owner is completely liable for their dog’s behavior. Like many states, California imposes stricter ordinances on specific dog breeds, such as pit bulls and bull terriers.
In most types of dog bite cases in California, the two most important questions are:
Indiana Dog Bite Law, however, is a little different. Unlike California, Indiana follows the “one-bite” rule. The one-bite rule states that a dog owner is liable for a plaintiff’s injuries if they had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression. This is considered negligence and could lead to criminal liability.
In most cases, it is the responsibility of the dog owner to reimburse the victim for their damages. In Portwood’s case, the courts will likely consider the history of not only the parents but the past of the dog in question. Depending on the damage, it is unlikely that one dog bite incident will force the courts to remove a child.
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers wish both parties the best of luck in resolving their custody battle peacefully and fairly with the best interest of the child in mind. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to a California Dog bite lawyer at our firm for a free consultation by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing at [email protected].