Dogs: Related Cases

Case namesort descending Citation Summary
32 Pit Bulldogs and Other Property v. County of Prentiss 808 So.2d 971 (Miss. S.C. 2002) While a criminal trial regarding alleged dog-fighting was pending, the Circuit Court, Prentiss County, ordered the humane euthanization of 18 of 34 seized pit bulldogs. The alleged dog owner appealed. The Supreme Court held that allegations the dogs had been trained to fight, could not be rehabilitated as pets, and posed serious threat to other animals and people, related to the "physical condition" of the dogs, as statutory basis for humane euthanization. Affirmed.
Abundant Animal Care, LLC v. Gray 316 Ga.App. 193 (Ga.App. 2012)

While either shadowing her aunt or during her first day working at the veterinary clinic, the plaintiff was bitten three times by a dog she had taken outside to exercise. Plaintiff subsequently filed numerous claims against the veterinary clinic, including: negligence; negligence per se; nuisance; and violation of a premise liability and a dangerous dog statute. After the lower court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment, the defendant appealed to the Georgia appellate court. The appeals court stated that in a dog bite case, the plaintiff needed to produce evidence that the dog had a vicious propensity. Since the plaintiff failed to produce such evidence, the court held the defendant should have been granted a motion for summary judgment on its premise liability, nuisance, dangerous dog statute, and negligence per se claims. As for the negligence claim, the court held the defendant should have been granted a motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff was not aware of internal procedures to protect invitees and because the injuries were not proximately caused by negligent supervision. The lower court's judgment was therefore reversed.

Adams v Reahy [2007] NSWSC 1276

The first respondent claimed that despite their best efforts their dog was unable to gain weight and appeared emaciated. When proceedings were instituted, the first respondent was successful in being granted a permanent stay as the appellant, the RSPCA, failed to grant the first respondent access to the dog to determine its current state of health. On appeal, it was determined that a permanent stay was an inappropriate remedy and that the first respondent should be granted a temporary stay only until the dog could be examined.

AKERS v. SELLERS 54 N.E.2d 779 (Ind.App.1944)
This Indiana case involves an action in replevin by John W. Akers against his former wife, Stella Sellers. The controversy at issue was ownership and possession of a Boston bull terrier dog. At the time of the divorce decree, the dog was not part of the property division and was instead left at the marriage domicile in custody of the former wife. Appellant-Akers claimed that legal title and the dog's best interests rested with him and unsuccessfully brought a suit in replevin in the lower court. On appeal, this Court held that there was no sufficient evidence to overturn the lower court's determination. The judgment was affirmed.
Allanson v. Toncich 2002 WL 1897936 (Austrailia)

Appeal uphold the judgement against the dog owner for damages, but recalculates damages upward.

Allen v. Camp 70 So. 290 (Ala.App. 1915)

Defendant shot and killed Plaintiff's dog, which had bitten Defendant's daughter several days earlier, for the purpose of sending the dog's head to a laboratory for examination for rabies. The Court of Appeals of Alabama found that Plaintiff's wife's injuries were too remote to be compensable, when the wife was not home at the time of the incident and became excited and hysterical upon hearing of the incident several hours later. The Appeals Court also held that although one may protect himself or his family from injury by a dog or other animal when on his own private property or on public property, the destruction of an animal is wrongful when the danger of attack and subsequent injury by that animal no longer exists, and where the animal is not trespassing.

Allendorf v. Redfearn 2011 IL App (2d) 110130 (2011)

After a farm employee was injured in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) while trying to round up a bull, he sued the farm owners under the Domestic Animals Running at Large Act. The Appellate Court held that the employee could not recover under the Act, which protects members of the general public who cannot be expected to appreciate the risk posed by an animal. Because the employee was not an innocent bystander but rather was attempting to exercise control over the bull at the time he was injured, he fell within the Act's definition of an “owner” of the bull.

Altieri v. Nanavati 573 A.2d 359 (Conn. Super., 1990)

This is an action against a veterinarian for negligence, claiming that the defendant performed unwanted sterilization surgery on the plaintiff's dog, a Lhasa Apso.  The court held that there is also a question of fact regarding whether performing an unwanted operation on the dog is, under the circumstances, actionable as reckless conduct.  However, the court observed that, at the time of the trial it is unlikely that the plaintiffs will be able to recover, as an element of damages, any alleged emotional distress they may have experienced as a result of the surgery on their dog.

Altman v. City of High Point 330 F.3d 194 C.A.4 (N.C. 2003)

This case arises out of several shooting incidents in the City of High Point, North Carolina.  In each incident, a High Point animal control officer shot and killed one or more dogs that were running at large in the city. Plaintiffs, the owners of the animals, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the officers' actions violated their Fourth Amendment rights.  The Court of Appeals concluded that the dogs at issue in this case do qualify as property protected by the Fourth Amendment and that the officers seized that property. However, because in each instance the seizure involved was reasonable, it concluded that the officers did not violate the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights.

American Dog Owners Ass'n v. City of Yakima 777 P.2d 1046 (Wash.1989)
In this Washington case, plaintiff brought suit against the City of Yakima challenging an ordinance that banned “pit bulls” dogs. The Superior Court, Yakima County, granted city's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiffs appealed. Plaintiffs first argued that the ordinance is vague because a person of ordinary intelligence cannot tell what is prohibited.  The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that the City used adequate standards for identification in the professional standards and illustrations to show that a particular dog meets the professional standard. Thus, the Court found that the ordinance gave sufficient notice of what was conduct prohibited. Summary judgment for the City was affirmed.
American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Lynn 404 Mass. 73, 533 N.E.2d 642 (Mass.,1989)

This is an appeal by American Dog Owners Association from a judgment upholding two of three city of Lynn ordinances which restrict ownership of certain dogs within the city limits. The lower court found that one of three animal control ordinances regulating “pit bulls” was unconstitutional. First, the Supreme Judicial Court held that the first two ordinances were repealed by passage of third which was intended to treat subject of pit bulls comprehensively. However, the court found that the third ordinance which attempted to define pit bull by breed was unconstitutionally vague. The court stated that, "if identification by breed name does not provide sufficient ascertainable standards for enforcement, then the “definition” of “Pit Bull” in the fourth ordinance, which is devoid of any reference to a particular breed, but relies instead on the even less clear 'common understanding and usage' of the term 'Pit Bull,' is not sufficiently definite to meet due process requirements."

American Dog Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Dade County, Fla. 728 F.Supp. 1533 (S.D.Fla.,1989)

Associations of dog owners sued Dade, County, Florida seeking declaratory judgment that an ordinance that regulated “pit bull” dogs was unconstitutionally vague. Plaintiffs contend that there is no such breed as a pit bull, but rather a three breeds that this ordinance has mistakenly lumped together. The District Court held that ordinance sufficiently defined “pit bull” dogs by specifically referencing three breeds recognized by kennel clubs, including a description of the characteristics of such dogs, and provided a mechanism for verification of whether a particular dog was included. The uncontradicted testimony of the various veterinarians reflected that most dog owners know the breed of their dog and that most dog owners look for and select a dog of a particular breed.

Ammon v. Welty 113 S.W.3d 185 (Ky.App.,2002)

In this Kentucky case, the plaintiffs brought an action against the county dog warden for shooting their dog. Before the statutorily imposed 7-day waiting limit had expired, the warden euthanized the dog by shooting him in the head. The Court of Appeals held that while a family dog can be beloved by a family, loss of the pet does not support an action for loss of consortium. Further, the dog warden was not liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress because his actions did not rise to the outrageous level where the dog was not shot in the presence of the family and there was no evidence that Brewer intended to inflict emotional harm.

Amons v. District of Columbia 231 F. Supp 2d. 109 (D.D.C. 2002)

Plaintiff filed a Section 1983 action against D.C. police officers alleging, inter alia , intentional infliction of emotional distress for the unprovoked shooting of his dog inside his home.  The court found that the officers lacked probable cause for the warrantless entry into his home to make the arrest, the arresting officer made "an egregiously unlawful arrest," and the officers were unreasonable in shooting plaintiff's dog without provocation.

Anderson v. Christopherson 816 N.W.2d 626 (Minn. 2012)

This appeal asks two questions: whether defendant-dog owners (Christophersons) were strictly liable under Minn.Stat. § 347.22 for plaintiff Anderson's injuries suffered when he attempted to break up a fight between defendants' and plaintiff's dogs; and (2) whether one of the defendants was an "owner" for purposes of this law. In the case at hand, the court found that the events leading to Anderson's injury could produce three reasonable alternative inferences such that summary judgment was inappropriate. The court found there was an issue whether the father Dennis Christopherson was "harboring" the dog at the home for purposes of the animal owner liability statute.

Anderson v. City of Camden 2011 WL 4703104 (2011)

Defendant Animal Control officers took Plaintiffs' two dogs pursuant to a pick-up order issued by a Magistrate of Kershaw County. The two dogs had a history of attacking other dogs and of running loose. Plaintiffs filed Fourth Amendment and South Carolina Tort Claims Act claims against Defendants. Court granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment because they did not violate a clearly established constitutional law, and were, therefore, entitled to qualified immunity from Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim.

Anderson v. State (Unpublished) 877 N.E.2d 1250 (Ind. App. 2007)

After shooting a pet dog to prevent harm to Defendant's own dog, Defendant challenges his animal cruelty conviction.  Defendant argues that since he was attempting to kill the dog, he did not intend to torture or mutilate the dog within the meaning of the statute.  The court affirms his conviction, reasoning that the evidentiary record below supported his conviction.

Andrews v. City of West Branch Iowa 454 F.3d 914 (8th Cir., 2006)

Appellants filed a suit against defendant, City of West Branch, Iowa and former police chief Dan Knight, seeking damages and relief under Section 1983. The dog was killed by Knight in the owners' fenced backyard in view of one of the plaintiffs. The district court's grant of summary judgment for the officer was reversed and the case was remanded for a jury trial.

Andrus v. L.A.D. 875 So.2d 124 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2004)

Patron sued dog owner for damages after an alleged attack.  The Court of Appeals, in reversing a finding for the patron, held that the patron did not establish that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm, which precluded a strict liability finding, and, that patron did not prove that the dog owner was negligent.  Reversed.

Animal Hospital of Elmont, Inc. v. Gianfrancisco 418 N.Y.S.2d 992 (N.Y.Dist.Ct., 1979)

In this New York case, defendant presented his puppy to plaintiff-animal hospital for treatment. After discussions between about the cost of the care, defendant apparently felt that he would not be allowed to retrieve the puppy from the hospital's possession. As a consequence, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant describing the balance owed, and stating that the hospital would retain the puppy for 10 more days after which it would "take care of the dog in accordance with the legal methods available to dispose of abandoned dogs." The issue on appeal is whether this letter qualified as noticed required by the Agriculture and Markets Act, Sec. 331. The court found that it did not comply with the statutory requirements and thus, plaintiff was responsible for defendant's loss of his puppy valued at $200 at trial. Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment on its complaint for the costs of care amounting to $309.

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Woodley 640 S.E.2d 777; 2007 WL 475329 (N.C.App., 2007)

In this North Carolina Case, Barbara and Robert Woodley (defendants) appeal from an injunction forfeiting all rights in the animals possessed by defendants and the removal of the animals from defendants' control, and an order granting temporary custody of the animals to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. On 23 December 2004, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions under North Carolina's Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals statute (Section 19A). N.C. Gen.Stat. § 19A-1 et seq. (2005). Plaintiff alleged that defendants abused and neglected a large number of dogs (as well as some birds) in their possession. On appeal, defendants argue that Section 19A is unconstitutional in that it purports to grant standing to persons who have suffered no injury, and that it violates Article IV, Section 13 of the N.C. Constitution by granting standing through statute. The court held that Article IV, Section 13 merely “abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity," rather than placing limitations on the legislature's ability to create actions by statute, contrary to defendants' interpretation.

ANSON v. DWIGHT 18 Iowa 241 (1865)

This case involved the killing of a dog by defendant's minor son. While the issues on appeal were mostly procedural, the court did find that dogs belong to a class of personal property for which a witness can testify as to their value.

Anzalone v. Kragness 826 N.E.2d 472 (Ill. 2005)

A woman whose cat was attacked while being boarded at veterinarian's office brought claims against veterinarian and animal hospital.  Trial court dismissed claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress and the Court of Appeals reversed holding dismissal was not warranted. 

Arguello v. Behmke 2006 WL 205097 (N.J.Super.Ch.,2006) (not reported in A.2d)

The adoption of a dog was invalidated and the court ordered its return to the original owner. The shelter's placement of the dog with a new family was invalid because the shelter agreed that it would hold the dog for a certain period of time.

Armstrong v. Riggi 549 P.2d 753 (Nev. 1976)

Joe Riggi delivered his two unregistered Pomeranian dogs to the Armstrongs' Poodle Parlor to be bathed and groomed. The dogs died while in the care of the bailee. Riggi commenced this action to recover damages alleging that the dogs were worth more than $10,000. The issue on appeal was whether the trial court incorrectly interpreted the state court rule regarding attorney fees. Since the appellate court did in fact determine error, the case was remanded.

Arrington v. Arrington 613 S.W.2d 565 (Tex. Civ. App. 1981)

A divorcing couple agreed to visitation of their dog, which the trial court incorporated into the divorce decree, appointing wife as the dog's managing conservator.  Husband appealed because he had not been appointed managing conservator; the appellate court stated that dogs are personal property, and the office of managing conservator had been created for human children.  While the court held that dogs are personal property under the law, it also stated that visitation of dogs should be allowed.

Ascencio v. ADRU Corporation 2014 WL 204212 (N.D. Cal. 2014) (Not Reported in F.Supp.2d)

A woman, who suffers from a disability that is accompanied by deep depression and anxiety, went to a fast food restaurant with her mother and her two service dogs. Upon entering the establishment, the employees refused to serve them, forced them to leave, and retaliated against them by calling the police and threatening them with arrest. The woman and her mother sued the fast food restaurant for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related California statutes. When the fast food restaurant failed to file an answer, the court entered a default judgment against the fast food restaurant; awarded the plaintiffs with damages, court costs and attorney fees; and placed a permanent injunction against the fast food restaurant.

Ash v. State 290 Ark. 278 (1986)

Police raided defendant's home and found an area converted into an arena for dog fighting. Defendant was found guilty  of promoting or engaging in dog fighting or possessing a dog for that purpose. On appeal, the court found that the based on the evidence a jury could have reasonably concluded that defendant was aware that on property owned by her and her husband an arena had been built for the purpose of clandestine dog fighting and that she was aware it was so being used.

Auburn Woods I Homeowners Ass'n v. Fair Employment and Housing Com'n 2004 WL 1888284 (Cal.App. 3 Dist.)

In this California case, the Elebiaris sought permission from their condominium association to keep a small dog as a companion (both suffered from severe depression and found that taking care of a dog alleviated their symptoms and enabled them to function more productively).  T he association refused their request, leading the Elebiaris to file a claim with the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (the FEHC), which found in favor of the Elebiaris.  After the Superior Court granted the condominium's petition, the FEHC and residents appealed.   The appellate court held that the trial court erred in overturning the FEHC decision where the FEHC's finding that a companion dog constituted a reasonable accommodation for plaintiff's disability was supported by substantial evidence.

Augillard v. Madura 257 S.W.3d 494 (Tex.App.-Austin,2008)

This appeal arises from a suit for conversion filed by Shalanda Augillard alleging that Tiffany Madura and Richard Toro wrongfully exercised dominion and control over Augillard's black cocker spaniel, Jazz, who was recovered from New Orleans in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina. The central issue at trial and the only disputed issue on appeal is whether Augillard's dog, Jazz, and the dog that Madura adopted from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Hope, are in fact the same dog. Augillard asserts on appeal that the trial court erred in disregarding conclusive evidence, including forensic DNA analysis, establishing that Hope and Jazz are the same dog.

Auster v. Norwalk 943 A.2d 391 (Conn. 2008)

Plaintiff, while on church premises, was bitten by a church employee's dog.  Plaintiff seeks damages from church under the state dog bite statute, which imposes strict liability for damages on the dog's keeper.  The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church, reasoning that a non-owner must be responsible for maintaining and controlling the dog at the time the damage is done in order to be held liable under the statute.

Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church 894 A.2d 329 (Conn.App., 2006)

The plaintiff, Virginia Auster, brought this action pursuant to General Statutes § 22-357FN1 to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by the dog of an employee of the defendant, Norwalk United Methodist Church.  Ms. Auster was a visitor who was on the premises to attend a meeting in the parish house when she was bitten by dog of church employee, who lived in an apartment in the parish house.  After a jury trial, the verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.  (See summary judgment appeal, 2004 WL 423189).  The Appellate Court held that church was not a “keeper” of the church employee's dog for purposes of statute which imposed strict liability on the keeper of any dog that did damage to the body or property of any person.  The court reversed the judgment and remanded the action for a new trial on the issue of common-law negligence

Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church (Unpublished) 2004 WL 423189 (Conn.Super.,2004) (only Westlaw citation available)

In this unpublished Connecticut opinion, the defendant-church owned property and leased a portion of the premises to one of its employees, Pedro Salinas.  The plaintiff was attacked by a dog, owned by Salinas, while lawfully on the defendant's premises.  The plaintiff appealed a summary judgment ruling in favor of defendant.  On appeal, the court found that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant-church was a "harborer" of the dog under Connecticut law.  Because Salinas and the church had no formal lease agreement, dispute existed as to the exact parameters of Salinas' exclusive control of the premises where his dog roamed.  There also existed a material fact regarding the church's knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities because it had twice previously attacked a person. (Note the jury trial decision in favor of plaintiff was later overturned in Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church , --- A.2d ----, 94 Conn.App. 617, 2006 WL 797892 (Conn.App.)).

Aversa v. Bartlett 783 N.Y.S.2d 174 (N.Y. 2004)

Plaintiff was awarded $100,000 for past pain and suffering and $200,000 for future pain and suffering after she was bitten in the face by Defendant's dog.  Defendant appealed on the basis that the jury award for future pain and suffering was unreasonable compensation.  The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court modified the judgment to be $75,000 for past pain and suffering after Plaintiff stipulated to the decrease.

Bacon (Litigation Guardian of) v. Ryan 1995 CarswellSask 540

The child plaintiff was bitten on the face by a pitbull owned by the defendants, requiring reconstructive surgery and two days hospitalization and causing permanent scarring. The dog had bitten the owner's young son two weeks earlier while he played near the dog's food dish'; they contemplated having the dog euthanized but decided against it. The plaintiff's mother had heard about the bite incident but brought her daughter of the same age as the owner's son to visit, placing her on the floor where the dog bit her shortly after. The judge held that the defendants knew of the dog's propensity to bite young children but kept it ''at their peril" (suggesting strict liability or scienter, which was not however mentioned); such fault was sufficient to make the owners 2/3 liable for the child's $12,000 plastic surgery costs, pain and mental anguish. The plaintiff's mother was held 1/ contributorily liable for letting her child visit and play on the floor near the dog, knowing of its propensity.

Bailey v. Veitch 814 N.Y.S.2d 459 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.,2006)

In this New York memorandum opinion, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that fact issues remained as to whether injuries sustained by child were caused by dog, and whether defendants knew or should have known of dog's vicious propensities. At the time of the alleged bite, the four-year-old child was alone in a room with the dog and sustained a gaping laceration on her nose and multiple puncture wounds on her face. The court also determined there was an issue of fact as to whether the dog previously displayed vicious tendencies where the dog bit its owner's grandson on the hand two weeks prior to the instant incident.

Bal Harbour Village v. Welsh 879 So.2d 1265 (Fl. 2004)

Defendant owned four dogs prior to the enactment of an ordinance prohibiting municipality residents from owning more than two dogs in one household.  The municipality brought suit against Defendant for failing to comply with the ordinance.  The trial court denied the municipalities prayer for permanent injunctive relief, but the Court of Appeals overruled the decision holding the ordinance could constitutionally be enforced under the police power to abate nuisance.

Balch v. Newberry 208 Okla. 46, 253 P.2d 153, 35 A.L.R.2d 1267, 1953 OK 23

In this Oklahoma case, plaintiff purchased a pointer dog for a payment of $800 cash, whom he purchased for breeding purposes. Plaintiff alleged, that for several years prior to March 24, 1947, defendant was engaged in the business of breeding and selling thoroughbred pointer bird dogs at Tulsa, Oklahoma, and that plaintiff had for many years been engaged in the business of operating kennels. In affirming the judgment for plaintiff, the court held that the purchase of a dog with the knowledge of the seller that it is bought exclusively for breeding purposes gives rise to a warranty of fitness for such purpose where the buyer relies upon the seller's skill and judgment that the dog is fit for such purpose. Where a sale of highly bred stud dog for breeding purposes is rescinded for breach of an implied warranty, because of sterility, the purchaser can recover what he paid under the contract and expenses necessarily incident to caring for the dog but he cannot, in addition, recover damages for the breach of the implied warranty of the dog's usefulness for breeding purposes.

Ballas v Ballas 3 Cal.Rptr. 11 (Cal. Dist. Ct. App. 1960)

In a divorce decree, lower court awarded dog and car to husband; the wife appealed.  Appellate court found that distinction between community and separate property was unimportant and held that wife was entitled to the dog, but the husband remained entitled to the car.

Banasczek v. Kowalski 10 Pa. D. & C.3d 94 (1979)

Edward Banasczek (plaintiff) instituted an action in trespass against William Kowalski (defendant) for money damages resulting from the alleged shooting of two of plaintiff's dogs. The court held the following: “[T]he claim for emotional distress arising out of the malicious destruction of a pet should not be confused with a claim for the sentimental value of a pet, the latter claim being unrecognized in most jurisdictions.   Secondly we do not think, as defendant argues, that the owner of the maliciously destroyed pet must have witnessed the death of his or her pet in order to make a claim for emotional distress.” Pennsylvania has summarily rejected a claim for loss of companionship for the death of a dog.  

Banks v. Adair 251 S.E.2d 88 (Ga.App., 1978)
In this Georgia dog bite case, plaintiffs appealed a directed verdict for the defendant. The Court of Appeals held that the verdict was properly directed for defendant where there was no evidence that established the defendant's knowledge of his dog's propensity to bite or injure humans.
Barger v. Jimerson 276 P.2d 744 (Colo. 1954)

In order for liability to attach in an action for damages for personal injuries resulting from a dog attack, defendants had to have notice of the vicious propensities of their dog.  Even though the dog had never attacked a person before, a natural fierceness or disposition to mischief was sufficient to classify the dog as "vicious."  Finally, it is permissible for the jury to consider the loss of earning capacity of plaintiff resulting from the injuries as an element of damages.

Barrios v. Safeway Ins. Co. 97 So.3d 1019 (La.App. 4 Cir.,2012)

Louisiana dog owners sued motorist for mental anguish and property damage  after their dog was hit and killed by defendant's car. The lower court awarded damages to each of the dog owners in the total amount of $10,000. The Court upheld that the damages award of $10,000 because the dog was killed as a result of motorist's negligence, the owners were nearby and immediately arrived at scene to find their beloved dog dead, the dog was extremely valuable to owners, who had a close family-like relationship with dog for approximately 12 years, and the loss caused the owners to suffer psychic trauma.

Barton v. State 253 Ga. 478 (1984)

Four defendants were convicted of dog fighting in violation of O.C.G.A. §   16-12-37 and they were also convicted of gambling in violation of O.C.G.A. §   16-12-21(a)(1) . On appeal, the court rejected the constitutional attacks on §   16-12-37. The court affirmed the convictions only with respect to one defendant and reversed the convictions as to the remaining three defendants based upon the sufficiency of the evidence.

Bassani v. Sutton Slip Copy, 2010 WL 1734857 (E.D.Wash.)

Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit in 2008 claiming money damages under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1988,and  alleging violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In 2004, plaintiffs two dogs were seized by Yakima County Animal Control after responding to a citizen's report that he had been menaced by dogs as he ran past plaintiff's house. Before the court here are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint. In granting the motions, the court held that the doctrine of res judicata did warrant a grant of summary judgment as defendants' failure to release plaintiff's dog. Further, the animal control officer was entitled to qualified immunity because he reasonably relied on the deputy prosecuting attorney's advice. Finally, there was no evidence of a pattern of behavior on the part of Yakima County sufficient to be a "moving force" behind a constitutional violation.

Bates (Guardian of) v. Horkoff 1991 CarswellAlta 229

The child plaintiff was at her daycare under appropriate supervision while in the playground when she was bitten on the hand by a neighbouring German Shepherd. The dog squeezed through an unmended gap in the fence and bit the child while she was on the swings; daycare staff were not negligent in supervising the children. While the dog had no history of biting, it was excitable and barked aggressively towards strangers outside the yard; the fence was in poor repair, but the owner had not thought it necessary to use the secure dog run that existed on his property. he was found negligent for not better securing and supervising the dog.

Bates v. Constable 781 N.Y.S.2d 861 (N.Y. 2004)

A son obtained a dog from defendant for his father to have as a pet.  The dog bit the father and the father sued defendant for failing to warn him of the dog's vicious propensities.  The Court held the defendant did not owe the second transferee of the dog a duty to warn and granted summary judgment in favor of defendant.

Batra v. Clark 110 S.W.3d 126 (Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.],2003)

In this Texas case, the appellant-landlord appealed a verdict that found him negligent for injuries suffered by a child visiting a tenant's residence. The lower court found the tenant and landlord each 50% liable for the girl's injuries. The Court of Appeals, in an issue of first impression, if a landlord has actual knowledge of an animal's dangerous propensities and presence on the leased property, and has the ability to control the premises, he or she owes a duty of ordinary care to third parties who are injured by this animal. In the present facts, the court found that Bantra had no duty of care because there was no evidence showing that Batra either saw the dog and knew that it was a potentially vicious animal or identified the dog's bark as the bark of a potentially vicious animal. The judgment was reversed.

Becker v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. 416 N.W.2d 906 (Wis.,1987)

Motorist sued dog owner after he was injured in a car accident allegedly caused by dog. The Court of Appeals held that the “injury by dog” statute creates strict liability for any injury or damage caused by dog if owner was negligent (with public policy exceptions). Here, the dog owner was not strictly liable because he was not negligent when his dog escaped from its enclosure.

Beckett v. Warren 921 N.E.2d 624 (Ohio, 2010)

On a certified conflict from the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio decided here whether a plaintiff pursuing a claim for bodily injuries caused by a dog must elect either a statutory remedy under R.C. 955.28 or a remedy at common law for negligence. The Supreme Court found that the defense's conflict case, Rodenberger v. Wadsworth, 1983 WL 7005, did not turn on the issue of whether both claims could be pursued simultaneously, but rather whether the statutory cause of action abrogated the common law cause of action (which it held did not). In looking at the plain language of R.C. 955.28, the Court found that the statute itself does not preclude a simultaneous common law action for damages for bodily injuries caused by a dog. Under both theories of recovery, compensatory damages remain the same so there is no issue of double recovery. Thus, a plaintiff may, in the same case, pursue a claim for a dog bite injury under both R.C. 955.28 and common law negligence.

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