Dog Bite Settlement is Largest in Illinois History

Jordyn Bankston was attacked by a Bullmastiff named Kong two years ago

Attorneys involved in a dog attack case say a $1.1 million settlement, announced Monday, is the largest of its kind in state history.

It was two summers ago when a 120-pound Bullmastiff named Kong escaped his chain link fence enclosure, barreled toward a group of teens and clutched then-15-year-old Jordyn Bankston in his massive jaws.

Ed Miller and another neighbor say the attack went on for about 10 minutes before the neighbor found a way to free the teen.

"He came over and slugged the dog a couple of times," Miller said Monday, recalling the neighbor's actions. "[Kong] would not release the child. He had a lit cigarette and he put it on the dog's nose and [the dog] finally released him."

Two years later, the 17-year-old is due to receive $1.125 million from the dog owner's insurance policy for injuries and ongoing trauma. Attorneys said Bankston still becomes anxious when he sees a dog or hears one bark.

"He ripped up his scalp, severely ripped up his shoulder and right arm, his thigh [resulting in] nasty scars that required some extensive plastic surgery," said attorney Patrick Salvi. "[It was] a very, very traumatic event."

Salvi said Kong's owner had a primary policy as well as an umbrella policy. That umbrella policy raised the settlement limit from $350,000 to one million dollars -- the largest in state history.

Prior to this case, the settlements in such cases ranged from $400,000 to $835,000. The last settlement of this kind came in 1990.

In Bankston's case, the dog was put down because the animal had attacked other people and animals.

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