DECATUR, Ga. -- A DeKalb County judge overruled a jury's decision awarding the victim of a pit bull attack $72 million. Instead, Erin Ingram and her family will take home $36,941,278.50.
In the final order, Judge Mathew Robins explains the specific award. The jury awarded Erin $36,691,278.50 in compensatory damages and another $36 million in punitive damages. But Georgia law limits punitive damages to $250,000.00.
The civil verdict comes after a criminal verdict in 2012. The dog owner, Twuann Vaughn, was sentenced to 16-months in jail for violating Georgia's Vicious Dog Act. She was also sentenced to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service.
Erin Ingram testified she thought she was going to die after two pit bulls knocked her down and bit her repeatedly. Her arm had to be amputated. She was eight years old at the time of the attack.
"My family has been having hard times since the accident," the little girl said in court. "I have nightmares about everything over and over, and I cannot sleep."
The jury heard a tape of the 911 call. In it, you can hear Erin screaming, "Please help me! Please help me!"
"People stare at me," Ingram wrote in a victim impact letter read to the judge before sentencing. "Kids make fun of me."