Articles Posted in Animal / Dog Law

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Plaintiff, a UPS driver, was delivering a package to the home of Defendants when he was bitten on his arm and leg by one of Defendants’ dogs. Plaintiff filed an action against Defendants, alleging that he was injured as a result of Defendants’ negligence in failing to secure their dogs. The superior court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that there was no genuine issue of material fact about whether Defendants knew of the dog’s vicious propensity. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding that material issues of fact existed that could permit a fact-finder that the dog did have a vicious propensity and that Defendants knew of it. View "Coogan v. Nelson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff received a wound from a dog bite from a pit bull. Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant, the owner of the building where the dog bite occurred. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant, finding that the dog bite at issue occurred within the enclosure of the owner or keeper of the dog. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the second-floor apartment where the dog bite occurred was a separate enclosure for purposes of R.I. Gen. Laws 4-13-16. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding (1) absent an inquiry into whether the second-floor apartment was kept locked and whether Defendant was excluded from the premises, it was impossible to determine whether the second-floor apartment was a separate enclosure within Defendant's house; and (2) there was a disputed issue of material fact was to whether Defendant knew of or permitted the dog's presence on his premises. View "Carreiro v. Tobin" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Barry DuBois, an environmental officer, was seriously injured when he was bitten by a dog owned by defendant Frederick Quilitzsch while DuBois was inspecting a pigeon loft on defendant's property. DuBois and his wife filed a civil action against defendant, alleging strict liability, premises liability, and negligence. After discovery, defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that because the alleged attack occurred within the enclosure of the home and the defendants had no knowledge of the dog's vicious propensity, they were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. The trial justice granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on all three counts. Plaintiffs appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no genuine issue of material fact as to defendants' knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities, and (2) any modification to the state's dog-bite law is best left to the legislature. View "DuBois v. Quilitzsch" on Justia Law