October 24, 2013 • Premises Liability
On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
Being bit by a dog is traumatic. Not only can the bite be physically painful, but it can be emotionally painful too. In cases where the victim is a small child, many will develop fears for some time related to dogs. In a recent case, a little girl who was bitten by a neighbor’s dog said she has since even had some nightmares.
In this family’s case, the 7-year-old was bitten by a neighbor’s dog that jumped the fence. The neighbor denies it being an attack though, saying she thinks the dog was chasing the girl, who then fell on some rocks. However, a patient summary report from after the incident says otherwise, as the summary does report the girl was treated for dog bites.
After the attack, the dog was placed on quarantine, but is allowed to stay in the neighborhood. For the mother of the girl who was bit, this is worrisome as she said not only are the children afraid to go in the backyard, but she is too.
The owner of the dog, while claiming the incident was not an attack, did acknowledge the dog has some issues, which is why she keeps it in the house. She said the dog “Scooby” likes to try and get out and does not like strangers. However, she does not want to see him taken away and put down.
In this story though, the owner did refer to herself as an “old lady” who is “trying to handle him.”
If this incident had happened in New York City, the family of the little girl could have some options available.
In New York, if a dog has bitten someone before or has an inclination or tendency to act viciously, the owner must disclose this. In the case of someone trying to hold a dog owner accountable after an attack, this information may wind up being rather useful to the one seeking compensation.
Source: NBC 12, “7-year-old Richmond girl recovering after dog bite on backside,” Chris Thomas, Oct. 22, 2013