A boy who suffered horrific injuries when he was attacked by two pit bulls in Hanover more than two years ago has settled his civil case against the woman who owns the property where it happened.
On Monday, Common Pleas Judge Penny Blackwell approved a $508,613 settlement between Ajia Brown and his mother, and Travelers Insurance, the insurance company representing Marjorie Nicholson of Hanover.
Ajia, of Uncasville, Conn., was 8 years old when he was attacked on June 1, 2010, at Nicholson's 415 Pleasant St. property.
Her son, Chester Lavere Little, 50, lives there and kept two pit bulls, Angel and Midge, in a fenced-in yard.
A large portion of Ajia's scalp was torn off during the attack, as was much of both ears, according to testimony.
His mother, Elizabeth Brown, threw her body over Ajia's to stop the attack while several neighbors did what they could to scare away the dogs.
Brown suffered a number of dog bites on her body while protecting her son.
17 surgeries: Now 10 years old, Ajia has undergone 17 surgeries and 54 other procedures since the June 1, 2010, attack, according to Bucks County-based civil attorney Thomas Newell.
Newell said the boy will need at least one more surgery.
The Browns were visiting Nicholson when Ajia went outside to catch fireflies, according to testimony at Little's criminal trial in April.
The dogs got out of their enclosure and attacked Ajia, Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock determined at the close of Little's trial.
Responding officers fatally shot Midge minutes after the attack, but by that time Little had taken Angel inside, police said.
Owner guilty: On April 24, Trebilcock found Little guilty of harboring dangerous dogs, failing to vaccinate the dogs for rabies and failing to license them with the county. All offenses are summary violations.
The dangerous-dog conviction requires Little, in part, to keep a $50,000 liability insurance policy on Angel, muzzle her when in public, have a secure outdoor enclosure and submit to state inspections.
The judge also ordered Little to pay $1,000 in fines, saying that "hardly seems adequate," but that he was bound by the law.
Settlement a 'relief': Newell said the $308,000 that remains of Ajia's settlement after paying attorney fees, court costs and outstanding liens from health insurance carriers has been put in a court-approved structured settlement annuity plan that guarantees Ajia will receive $406,173.
Ajia and his mother are relieved a settlement has been reached, Newell said, and were in court on Monday when Judge Blackwell approved it.
Ajia sometimes gets teased about his permanent scarring, Newell said, but appears to be a normal, happy boy.
"As of right now, he's come out of it remarkably well. ... He certainly is an exceptional young man," the attorney said. "And he has a remarkable mother who literally put her life on the line to save him."
Out with a bang: At the close of Monday's settlement-approval hearing, Judge Blackwell invited Ajia to the bench to close the proceeding, according to Newell.
"He walked right up there, banged the gavel and said, 'Court is adjourned for the morning,'" Newell said.
Francis Gartner, a Montgomery County-based attorney who represented Travelers Insurance in the matter, did not return a phone message seeking comment.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.