The family of a doctor who died after cattle-herding dogs attacked him while he was on a walk have settled a lawsuit for $900,000, the family’s attorneys said.
John Kenneth Moser and Aindrea Pledger of Comerford & Britt in Winston-Salem and Mark Atkinson in Winston-Salem report that Juan Cazares-Robles, an anesthesiologist, was visiting Rockingham County from Mexico for his niece’s baptism. Cazares-Robles, 62, went for a walk around 4 p.m. on Nov. 24, 2014. When he did not return by dinnertime, his family called authorities.
The next day, when deputies were searching for Cazares-Robles in Madison, several dogs, known as “Australian Cattle Dogs” or “Blue Heels,” began barking and threatening deputies, Moser said. Theyearched the area and found Cazares-Robles’ body. A medical examiner said that he had more than 100 bites.
“He was completely naked with the exception of one sock,” Moser said.
The medical examiner ruled that Cazares-Robles died of a heart attack brought on by the attack. The family sued the dog’s owners, Daniel and Laurie McCollum.
Cazares-Robles is survived by his wife of 30 years, four children, and seven grandchildren, all of whom live in Mexico. The family has successfully collected the settlement funds, Moser said.
Moser said that a crucial development in the case was the testimony of postal workers, UPS drivers, and walkers who all had trouble with the dogs.
“Two Rockingham County women came forward to tell their separate frightening experiences with the dogs,” Moser said. “The case resolved fairly soon after these depositions. Our trial date was three months away. The fact that Dr. Cazares-Robles’ beneficiaries were all in Mexico was going to be challenging for trial, although we were prepared for it, was a consideration in putting the case to bed.”
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SETTLEMENT – WRONGFUL DEATH
Injuries alleged: Death, dog bites, heart attack caused by trauma
Case name: Bryan C. Thompson, administrator of the Estate of Jose Cruz Cazares-Robles v. Daniel D. McCollum and Laurie T. McCollum
Court: Rockingham County Superior Court
Case Number: 16-CVS-1799
Date of settlement: May 14
Attorneys for plaintiffs: John Kenneth Moser and Aindrea Pledger of Comerford & Britt in Winston-Salem and Mark Atkinson in Winston-Salem
Attorneys for defendants: Stephen Teague of Teague Rotenstreich Stanaland Fox & Holt in Greensboro