Crime & Courts

St. Charles Township woman files lawsuit after dog attack in December

Laura Kizman was mauled by her neighbors’ two Rottweilers

A St. Charles Township woman has filed a lawsuit after being mauled by her neighbors’ two Rottweilers.

Laura Kizman was jogging near her house on Windsor Drive in St. Charles Township on Dec. 13 when the dogs attacked her. One had her by the leg and the other by the scalp, according to her attorneys.

Kizman and her husband, Michael, are suing the dog’s owners, Steven and Ann Dorando, for failing to take proper precautions to control their dogs.

“The physical and emotional injuries Laura suffered from this horrific attack were extremely severe,” said Kizman’s attorney, Timothy Cavanagh, founding partner of Cavanagh Law Group, in announcing the suit on Tuesday. “Her very difficult recovery still continues and she will deal with lasting injuries from this for the rest of her life. This attack would not have happened if the Dorandos had been responsible dog owners. They were aware their dogs could be dangerous yet they did not take proper precautions to restrain or train the dogs so they would not go after people.”

Following the attack, Kizman was taken to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva and was then flown by air ambulance to the trauma center at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where she underwent emergency surgery. Doctors had to use six feet worth of sutures to repair the severe wounds on both legs, her arm and head.

Kizman was hospitalized for 24 days. The attack happened in front of the Dorandos’ house.

The incident began when Kizman was jogging in her neighborhood and a Labradoodle dog ran from the yard to greet her in the street. Kidman stopped and began escorting the dog back onto the property to the homeowner, who was in her driveway, when the two Rottweilers came out of the home and began attacking her, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain had previously said.

A man driving past got out of his car to assist. He is also the one who called 911, Hain said.

“He was trying to separate the dogs and at one point went back to his car to get it (a handgun) out of his car. He shot one dog right in the side. It was a conscious effort because if he had shot the dog in the head, he might have killed the lady,” he said.

The dog later died of its injuries and the second Rottweiler was euthanized, Hain said. Both were adult males.

Kizman thanked the man for the actions he took.

“If he had not acted then, I would have been killed,” she said in a statement. “I kept telling myself to hold on and stay conscious for my kids and my husband but I thought I was going to die. The pain was so intense.”

The suit contends the Dorandos violated the state’s animal control act. The law says if a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks and injures any person who is peacefully conducting themselves in a place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in civil damages for the injuries suffered as a result of the attack.

The Dorandos could not be reached for comment.