by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on December 30, 2014

in Dog Bites

Defendant, whose English bulldog was on a leash, stopped in front of Plaintiff’s home and asked him what he was looking at and if he had a “problem” with her. The two argued for about 10 minutes.

Defendant left but returned several minutes later and threw a bag of dog feces at Plaintiff and walked away. Plaintiff picked up the bag and caught up with her. He began to choke Defendant who commanded her bulldog to “get ’em.” The dog bit Plaintiff’s left forearm that required stitches to close.

The Brooklyn, New York Supreme Court dismissed Plaintiff’s lawsuit after determining that the dog did not display vicious propensities For Defendant to be liable for injuries under New York’s dog-bite case law, it must be shown that she knew or should have known that her dog had vicious propensities.

In addition to a prior biting attack, a “vicious propensity” could also be indicated by a dog’s tendency to growl, snap or bare its teeth or to act in other threatening manners In addition to a prior biting attack.

The court determined that the dog was loyally protecting its owner. The court noted that dogs are universally recognized as a man’s (in this case a woman’s) best friend. This designation necessarily indicates that a dog will act towards its owner in a manner consistent with that of a close companion.

Dogs are known to be very protective of their owners and often come to their defense when they believe that their owners are about to be, or are threatened by others. The court concluded that the dog bit in reaction to Plaintiff’s physical proximity and manner towards its owner. This case was not a situation where the dog, without any provocation, displayed aggressive behavior.

If you or a family member have suffered a personal injury and have any questions, we can help you. Call Mike Ranzenhofer at 716-631-9999.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment