Florida Woman Vicki Bentley Awarded $643K for Pit Bull Attack

| by Denise A Justin

When Vicki Bentley of Pensacola, Florida, traveled 22 miles to visit her sister-in-law in Milton, she had no idea she would be attacked by a Pit Bull as she entered the fenced yard through the only gate on March 14, 2008.

Bentley was aware that there were Dachshunds in the home where her sister lived with an unrelated family, but she was not aware that a Pit Bull had been added, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

After four years, a week and a half in the hospital and $100,000 in medical bills, a Santa Rosa County jury awarded Bentley $643,257 for medical expenses and the pain and suffering that resulted from the brutal attack which left both of her arms and legs severely injured and extensively scarred.

One of the key issues in the decision was whether a “Beware of Dog” sign was posted. The Pit Bull’s owner, Gregory Zane Grey 30, and George Wetherbee, the owner of the home, both claimed a warning sign had always been visible.

But a neighbor and witness who had come to Bentley’s aid and helped her escape from the mauling testified that the sign was posted after the attack, said attorney Timothy O’Brien, who represented Vicki Bentley in the case.

The Pit Bull was later euthanized for attacking, but it wasn’t because of the attack on Vicki Bentley. Gray put the dog down after it attacked one of the family’s Dachshunds, he said.

Lawyer Kristen Van der Linde, who represented Gray and Wetherbee, said she and her clients are sorry that Bentley was attacked, “But we are disappointed by the verdict, and we’re looking into what our post-trial appeal options are,” she stated.

Bentley, now 55, told Pensacola New Journal she is glad it is all over and she just wants to get on with her life.