Parent blames dog owners, softball academy for pet's attack on son

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Feb 1, 2018

CLEARWATER — A parent is suing a dog owner and a St. Petersburg softball academy, alleging negligence and strict liability.

CLEARWATER — A parent is suing a dog owner and a St. Petersburg softball academy, alleging negligence and strict liability.

Julie Devinny, as parent and natural guardian of Jacob Devinny filed a complaint Jan. 5 in Pinellas Circuit Court against James Smith and Stance Doctor and Softball Academy LLC, alleging they failed to follow applicable safety guidelines and regulations.

According to the complaint, on June 30, 2017, Julie Devinny and her son were on the academy grounds in St. Petersburg owned by Doctor. The suit says her son was attacked by the dog owned by Smith without provocation. As a result, Devinny says, the child was injured about his body and extremities, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish and inconvenience. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants allowed vicious animals to be present on the property where the general public congregates, and failed to take any action to safeguard guests from attacks by vicious dogs.

The Devinnys seek trial by jury, damages in excess of $15,000, plus costs of action. They are represented by attorney Marcus Fernandez of Kinney, Fernandez & Boire PA in Tampa.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-CA-151

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