Pet Duck Attack Prompts $275K Injury Lawsuit in Oregon

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 08:49 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A neighbor's pet duck attack on a 62-year-old woman in Oregon has resulted in a $275,000 lawsuit.

The incident occurred in Estacada, Ore., about 25 miles southeast of Portland, in May 2012 when Cynthia Ruddell was visiting her mother. A neighbor's pet duck allegedly attacked Ruddell without provocation.

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According to the suit, which was filed in Oregon state court last Friday, Ruddell fell while attempting to flee from the aggressive waterfowl that she says ambushed her for no apparent reason. As a result of the fall, Ruddell broke her right wrist, sprained an elbow and shoulder, and suffered a rotator cuff injury.

"The duck flapped its wings at her and knocked her back and she fell down on an outstretched hand and fractured her wrist in two spots," Ruddell's attorney, Gregory Price, told KATU.com.

Ruddell, a retired nurse, is suing for both the medical expenses, which cost upwards of $25,000, and the pain and suffering, both present and future, from the duck attack, Reuters reported.

The suit also claims that the duck's owner, Lolita Rose, knew the duck had, "Abnormally dangerous propensities in attacking people," KATU.com reported.

"We had neighbors that indicated this duck was a crazy duck that attacked kids at the school bus stop and other people before," Price told KATU.com.

Both Ruddell and Rose declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Rose reportedly had her pet duck killed following the incident.

According to Price, who says he expects the lawsuit to be resolved within 60 days, Rose will not face any personal liability. The claim will most likely be settled by the insurance company which he claims is responsible via the defendant's homeowner's policy.

Price added that due to the unusual assailant in the case, his client has experienced a measure of unwanted attention.

"I've learned a lesson," Price told Reuters. "In any future lawsuit I'll talk about my client being attacked by a domestic animal. Not by a duck."

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