U.S. Postal Service carrier. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A veteran postal worker has sued a Bangor couple in Penobscot County Superior Court over a 2020 dog bite to his left hand that permanently injured his forefinger.

Wayne M. Robbins, 64, of Bangor claims that he was delivering a package shortly after noon on Aug. 11, 2020, to the couple’s home. As he got out of his vehicle to approach the house, the couple’s two pitbulls were “bouncing off the storm door,” the complaint said.

One of the dogs allegedly managed to get out the door and bite Robbins. He continues to have pain, along with the loss of strength, sensation and function in his forefinger, according to the complaint filed last month.

Robbins was one of 33 postal workers in Maine and about 5,800 in the country who reported being attacked by dogs in 2020, according to the U.S. Postal Service. That number decreased last year to 21 in Maine and to about 5,400 in the U.S.

The Bangor Daily News is not naming the couple being sued because they have not yet been served with the complaint and an attorney has not entered an appearance on their behalf, according to information filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Robbins, who has worked for the postal service for 33 years, and his wife Sandra Robbins, 62, of Bangor are seeking unspecified compensatory damages.

The Robbins’ attorney, James E. O’Connell III of Lewiston, claims in the complaint that the couple were negligent when they failed to control their allegedly dangerous dog.

O’Connell filed the complaint on June 17, the week after the postal service’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week, a program designed to raise awareness about the threat dogs can pose to postal employees.

The postal service that week advised dog owners to keep their pets inside the home and away from the door, or behind a fence on a leash while outside, to prevent an attack on a postal employee.