Cases & Deals

Client achieves successful results in Federal Tort Claims action against the United States Park Police

Clients D.C. Joe

On September 11, 2006, a U.S. Park Police Officer shot Jones Day's client's companion animal, an American Bull Terrier named Precious. Our client had his dog off leash in Dupont Circle Park and had been closely observing her as she played near him. The officer shot Precious from 15 yards away, in broad daylight, and in the midst of the evening rush hour. The officer later refused to call for veterinary assistance to euthanize the wounded but conscious dog.

Our client asked for redress from the government for shooting his dog and for help resolving a citation for an alleged "leash law" violation issued by the Park Police following the shooting. We secured a dismissal of the citation and, after an investigation that uncovered a dozen eyewitnesses to the officer's egregious behavior, we filed an administrative claim with the Department of Interior. When the Department rejected that, we filed a Federal Tort Claims Act suit on his behalf. The suit claimed the officer's conduct amounted to negligence and conversion. We took several depositions, contacted the witnesses uncovered during our earlier investigations, and began preparing for trial.

Before trial, however, we negotiated a very favorable settlement for our client. Among other things, the United States paid a cash settlement, provided a written apology, and promised to conduct training on use of force procedures. Although not part of the actual settlement, the United States also agreed to help our client secure a new dog.

Porter v. United States