May 19, 2015 3:16 PM

$100 million 'symbolic' judgment entered in dog attack case

The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) A judge on Tuesday awarded a $100 million civil judgment to a man who lost most of his left arm, his left leg below the knee and his left ear in an attack by a pack of dogs outside a Detroit home.

It's unlikely that Steve Constantine will collect anywhere near the amount entered by Wayne County Circuit Judge Daphne Means Curtis, but the meaning runs deeper than money, said Mark Bernstein, his attorney.

"It's an enormously symbolic statement by the court that this type of conduct is unacceptable in our community," Bernstein told The Associated Press. "The ability to collect is largely irrelevant. We wanted a number that got people's attention.

"This was a powerful, loud and clear statement. There was a sense of enough is enough."

Constantine, 50, was mauled in October as he tried to feed dogs belonging to Derick Felton at a house owned by Felton's mother.

Police killed one dog at the scene and said they rounded up at least 11 other pit bulls or pit bull mixes that were later euthanized.

Felton faces trial in September on charges of harboring a dangerous animal causing serious injury. He and his mother, Elizabeth Collins Felton, are named in the civil case.

Felton's lawyer in his criminal case has said the dogs that police rounded up belonged to him, but they weren't the dogs that attacked Constantine.

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday seeking comment from Felton and his mother.

Neither appeared at Tuesday's hearing, said Bernstein, who added that he would seek the house owned by Elizabeth Collins Felton as part of the judgment.

He said Constantine is being treated at a psychiatric hospital and has had 22 surgeries.


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