Dangerous Dog: Related Cases

Case namesort descending Citation Summary
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Benningfield v. Zinsmeister 367 S.W.3d 561 (Ky.,2012)

An 8-year-old boy and his sister were walking down a street when they were approached by a Rottweiler. Scared, the boy ran and was attacked by the dog, which caused the boy to suffer serious injuries. As a result, the mother of the child sued the owner of the dog and the landlord of the house where the dog resided under a Kentucky dog bite statute. The landlord won at both the trial and the appellate court level. Upon granting discretionary review for the case, the Kentucky Supreme Court investigated whether or not a landlord could be held strictly liable under the dog bite statute. The Court ruled that a landlord could, but only if the landlord permitted the dog to stay on or about the premises. Since the attack did not occur on or about the premises, the landlord was not found liable under the dog bite statute.

Bermudez v Hanan Slip Copy, 44 Misc.3d 1207(A), 2013 WL 5496124 (Table) (N.Y.City Civ.Ct.),

This unpublished small claims court opinion concerns a dog bite. Claimant sought to recover monetary damages for medical bills and related expenses she incurred as a result of personal injuries suffered when Defendant's dog named "Chino" bit her on the face. At issue is whether Chino had vicious propensities and whether Defendant was aware of or had knowledge of those vicious propensities. The court found that Plaintiff did not raise an issue of fact as to the dog's vicious propensities. The court found compelling evidence that Chino was certified by the Good Dog Foundation to visit healthcare facilities as a therapy dog. As a result, the court dismissed the motion.

Bess v. Bracken County Fiscal Court 210 S.W.3d 177 (Ky.App.,2006)

The primary issue in this Kentucky case is whether a Bracken County ordinance which bans the possession of pit bull terriers is inconsistent with the state law that addresses dangerous dogs. The lower court denied the plaintiff's motion and dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the ban of breed was a legitimate exercise of police power and did not deny dog owners procedural due process. Further, the ordinance did not infringe on constitutional right to travel because traveling with a pet is not a fundamental right and the ordinance does not treat residents and non-residents differently.

Bohan v. Ritzo 679 A.2d 597 (N.H.,1996)

In this New Hampshire case, a bicyclist brought suit against a dog owner under the state's strict liability statute for injuries he sustained when he fell from his bike after the owners' dog ran toward him. The jury awarded him $190,000 at trial. On appeal, this court found that the bicyclist's allegations were sufficient to sustain the jury's finding even though there was no evidence that the dog actually bit the plaintiff or made any physical contact. The Court held that there is nothing in the plain language of RSA 466:19 that would limit the statute's application actual bites or other direct physical contact. Instead, the statute makes dog owners strictly liable to “[a]ny person to whom ... damage may be occasioned by a dog not owned or kept by him.” RSA 466:19.

 
Bonner v. Martino 927 So.2d 564 (La.App. 5 Cir., 2006)

Plaintiff-housekeeper brought an action against her employers and their liability insurance providers after the employers' dog jumped up on a door that subsequently injured the plaintiff.  In affirming the trial court's granting of defendants' motion for summary judgment, the appellate court held that housekeeper did not demonstrate that dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm. 

Boosman v. Moudy 488 S.W.2d 917 (Mo.App. 1972)
In this Missouri case, an action was brought on behalf of a child who was bitten by a dog (a large dog of the malemute breed). After the lower court entered judgment against the dog owner, the owner appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff's evidence demonstrated that the dog had become ill-natured and had acquired the persistent menacing habit of growling, bristling and snapping at people. Such behavior was repeatedly brought to the attention of the owner's wife prior to time dog bit child. This evidence, together with owner's evidence that his daughter had encouraged the dog to play tug-of-war with her clothing, supported the verdict in favor of the plaintiff that the injury to child resulted from the propensity of the dog to do bodily harm, either in anger or from playfulness.
Boss v. State 964 N.E.2d 931 (Ind.App.,2012) Defendant appealed her convictions of misdemeanor failure to restrain a dog and misdemeanor harboring a non-immunized dog after her dogs attacked a neighbor and a witness to the incident causing serious injury to both parties. Evidence supported her convictions for failure to restrain dogs because her fence had gaps through which the dogs could escape, and another dog was wearing only a loose collar. Evidence supported her convictions for harboring dogs that had not been immunized against rabies because she did not show proof that dogs had been immunized, which supported inferences that she was aware of the high probability that the dogs had not been immunized, and therefore, she knowingly harbored non-immunized dogs. 
Brans v. Extrom 701 N.W.2d 163 (Mich.App.,2005)

When the plaintiff accidentally stepped on the dog, the dog bit him.  On the statutory claim, the jury found that the biting was with provocation even though from an unintentional act.  On the common law claim, the jury found that the incident did not result from the abnormally dangerous propensities of the dog. The court affirmed, finding the trial court correctly instructed the jury that an unintentional act could constitute provocation under the dog-bite statute.

BREEDLOVE v. HARDY 110 S.E. 358 (Va. 1922)

This Virginia case concerned the shooting of plaintiff's companion animal where defendant alleged that the dog was worrying his livestock. The court reversed judgment for defendant, finding that defendant’s act of killing dog while not engaged in the act of “worrying the livestock,” was not authorized within the statute.

Brent v. Kimball 60 Ill. 211 (1871)

This was an action of trespass, brought by appellant against appellee, for the alleged wrongful killing, by the latter, of appellant's dog. Plaintiff sought recovery for his dog that was shot and killed when it entered into defendant/neighbor’s backyard. The Court held that the plaintiff could recover at least nominal damages, regardless of the fact that the animal had no actual market value.

Brinton v. Codoni Not Reported in P.3d, 2009 WL 297006 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2009)

This unpublished Washington case stems from an attack on plaintiff's dog by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued for damages, alleging negligence and nuisance. The trial court ruled on partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were limited, as a matter of law, to the dog's fair market value. The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to damages based on the dog's intrinsic value (i.e., utility and service and not sentimental attachment) and her emotional distress. On appeal, this court held that since the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of showing that her dog had no fair market value, the trial court properly limited damages to that value. Further, because the plaintiff's nuisance claims were grounded in negligence, she was not entitled to damages beyond those awarded for her negligence claim.

Brooks ex rel. Brooks v. Parshall 806 N.Y.S.2d 796 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.,2006)

In this New York case, a then seven-year-old boy was attending a gathering at the home of the owners of a German Shepard dog. According to the plaintiff, the dog growled at him when he arrived and allegedly growled at another man at the party sometime later.   Defendant denied hearing the growl and t estimony showed that the boy continued to play with the dog throughout the party and into the next morning.   When the boy was leaving in the morning, he attempted to “hug” the dog from behind when the dog turned and bit the boy in the face.   In upholding defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court found that even if the dog had initially growled at the boy, that was not enough to establish that the dog had vicious propensities or that the owners had knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities.  

Bushnell v. Mott 254 S.W.3d 451 (Tex.,2008)

In this Texas case, the plaintiff (Bushnell) brought an action against the defendant (Mott) for her injuries sustained when defendant's dogs attacked plaintiff. The district court granted summary judgment to defendant. The Texas Supreme Court reversed, and held that the owner of a dog not known to be vicious owes a duty to attempt to stop the dog from attacking a person after the attack has begun, and Mott's behavior after the attack had begun raises an issue of material fact whether Mott failed to exercise ordinary care over her dogs.

Butcher v. Gay 34 Cal.Rptr.2d 771 (Cal.App.5.Dist.)

Plaintiff alleged that she had contracted Lyme disease "as a result of exposure to infested ticks" on respondent's property, and that respondent had "failed to spray the area, post signs or prevented [sic] domestic dog(s) from coming into contact with the plaintiff - jumping in her lap - thereby exposing her to a vector of the disease without her knowledge. Court found no duty toward the plaintiff and allow the motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff to stand.

Carrasquillo v. Carlson 880 A.2d 904 (Conn.App., 2005)

A Connecticut motorist brought a negligence action against a dog owner, seeking to recover for personal injuries allegedly sustained when he took evasive action to avoid hitting dog.  The Superior Court, Judicial District of Waterbury, granted the dog owner's motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Appellate Court held that the record was adequate for appellate review; the dog owner exercised reasonable control while walking dog; the statute allowing imposition of fine or imprisonment or both on owner of dog that interferes with motor vehicle did not apply; and the dog owner demonstrated that motorist would be unable to cure legal defects in complaint even if permitted to replead.

Carroll v. State 922 N.E.2d 755 (Ind.App., 2010)

Defendant Lee Carroll appealed his sentence after the trial court accepted his plea of guilty to two counts of class A misdemeanor dog bite resulting in serious bodily injury. While the court noted that Defendant's lack of criminal history was a mitigating factor, the "great personal injury" suffered by the victim far exceeded any mitigation. On each count, the trial court sentenced Carroll to 365 days, with four days suspended, and ordered “both” to “run consecutive to one another.” On appeal, Defendant argued that any consideration of the his dogs' breed was improper. However, the court found that the other evidence was sufficient to support his sentence (in a footnote the court addressed it directly: "We need not address whether the trial court erred to the extent it found the breed of his dogs to be an aggravator..."). The court was not persuaded that the nature of the offenses or the character of the offender justified revising his sentence.

Carter v. Ide 188 S.E.2d 275 (Ga.App. 1972)
This Georgia case involves an action for injuries received by a boy after he was attacked by the defendant's dog. The lower court granted summary judgment to the defendant and the plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Appeals held that where there was no showing that the dog ever so much as growled at a human being before the attack, the owner of dog was not liable for injuries. Evidence that the dog previously chased a cat and had engaged in a fight with another dog was insufficient to show the owner's knowledge of the dog's vicious tendencies toward humans to create liability for the owner.
Carter v. Metro North Associates 255 A.D.2d 251, 1998 N.Y. Slip Op. 10266 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.,1998)

In this New York case, a tenant sued his landlords for injuries after he was bitten on face by pit bull owned by another tenant. The lower court denied the landlords' motion for summary judgment and granted partial summary judgment for tenant on issue of liability. On appeal, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division held that the trial court erroneously took judicial notice of vicious nature of breed of pit bulls as a whole. In fact, the court found that the IAS court "erred in circumventing the requirement for evidence concerning the particular animal by purporting to take judicial notice of the vicious nature of the breed as a whole." Thus, the landlords were not strictly liable for the tenant's injuries where there was no evidence indicating that the dog had ever attacked any other person or previously displayed any vicious behavior.

Chee v. Amanda Goldt Property Management 50 Cal.Rptr.3d 40 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2006), Plaintiff, Lila Chee, a resident and owner of a condominium unit, appealed from a judgment entered in favor of all defendants on her complaint seeking damages for personal injuries she suffered when a dog belonging to Olga Kiymaz, a tenant of another unit in the same complex, jumped on Chee. In affirming the lower court's award of summary judgment, this court held that the landlord had no duty in absence of landlord's actual knowledge of dog's dangerous propensities. Further, the landlord was not liable to owner for nuisance. Finally, the condominium covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R's) did not impose vicarious liability on landlord.
Christensen v. Lundsten 863 N.Y.S.2d 886, 2008 WL 4118071 (N.Y.Dist.Ct.)

In this New York case, the parent of child injured by a dog brought an action seeking to have the dog declared a “dangerous dog” under the relevant law. The Court conducted a trial of the “dangerous dog” petition filed and rendered an oral decision that declared the respondents' Chesapeake Bay Retriever “Nellie” to be a dangerous dog under New York Agricultural and Markets Law § 121. The parties contested the appropriateness of a finding of “negligence” and “strict liability” and the entry of judgment. The District Court held that the court would not resolve issue of negligence because the issue was not properly joined for disposition; however, the owners were strictly liable for child's unreimbursed medical expenses.

Christian v. Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc. 54 A.D.3d 707 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept., 2008)

This New York case consists of an action to recover damages for personal injuries. The plaintiffs appeal the granting of the motion of the defendant for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against him and the cross motion of the defendants Petco. The infant plaintiff allegedly sustained personal injuries when she was bitten by a dog owned by the defendant Kenneth Coughlin at a Petco store. The court held that the evidence submitted established that the defendants were not aware that this dog had ever bitten anyone or exhibited any aggressive behavior.

City of Cleveland v. Lupica 2004 WL 2340639 (Ohio, 2004)

Defendant plead no contest to failure to confine and insure her dog after her pit bull attacked a mail carrier.  The trial court's decision to have the dog turned over to the city and destroyed was reversed.  The Court of Appeals found Defendant's no contest plea was not entered knowingly, intelligently or voluntarily.

City of Delray Beach v. St. Juste 989 So.2d 655 (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,2008)

In this Florida case, the city of Delray Beach appeals a judgment for damages in favor of  plaintiff, who was injured by two loose dogs. Plaintiff was attacked and severely injured by two large dogs owned by a resident of Delray Beach, when the dogs escaped from the resident's fenced yard. The theory of liability was based on the city's knowledge, from prior complaints and an actual visit by an animal control officer, that these dogs were loose from time to time and dangerous. This court agreed with the city, finding that the decision of an animal control officer was discretionary and therefore immune from liability under these circumstances.

City of Delray Beach v. St. Juste 989 So.2d 655 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 2008) In this Florida case, the city of Delray Beach appealed from a judgment for damages in favor of appellee plaintiff, who was injured by two loose dogs. The theory of liability was based on the city's knowledge, from prior complaints, that these dogs were loose from time to time and dangerous. The plaintiff suggested that the city's failure to impound the dogs after prior numerous complaints contributed to the attack. The court concluded that decisions made by the city's animal control officer and police to not impound the dogs were discretionary decisions, and therefore the city was immune.
City of Garland v. White 368 S.W.2d 12 (Tex. Civ. App. 1963).

Police officers were trespassers and could be held civilly liable for damages when they entered a dog owner's property with the intent to unlawfully kill the dog. Reports had been made that the dog was attacking other animals but because the attacks were not imminent, in progress, or recent, the killing of the dog was not lawful.

City of Pierre v. Blackwell 635 N.W.2d 581 (S.D. 2001)

In this South Dakota case, the owner of a dog declared by an animal control officer to be "dangerous" pursuant to Pierre City Ordinance § 10-3-111 challenged the conviction on the basis that the ordinances themselves were unconstitutional and that his constitutional right to procedural due process has been violated. The court held that the ordinances themselves were constitutional, noting the broad authority municipalities have to regulate pet ownership as a legitimate exercise of police power.  The court reversed and remanded for determination on the factual issue of the dog's dangerousness.  Specifically, if the City opts for a civil hearing, absent exigent circumstances, the owner of a dog is entitled to a due process hearing on the issue of dangerousness. 

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