Published on:

Nassau County Supreme Court Grants Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Dog Bite Case


The plaintiffs in this case are Kelsey M. Cooper who is an infant and represented by her natural guardian and mother, Michele Cooper and Michelle Cooper for herself. The defendants in the case are Jennifer and Peter Meyer both individually and as the parents of the infant Griffin Meyer and Griffin Meyer individually. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Nassau County.

The defendants have made a motion in the case for a grant of a summary motion to have the complaint from the plaintiffs dismissed.

Case Background

This is a case that involves personal injuries that the infant plaintiff sustained when she was attacked by a dog that is owned by the defendants. The dog is an Airedale Terrier named Jaspar. The incident in question occurred on the 11th of May in 2007 in the backyard of the home located at 27 Arleigh Road, in Great Neck, a town located in Nassau County.

The infant plaintiff, who was 15 at the time of the incident, stated that she bent down to pet Jaspar and as she did she started to fall. She lost her balance and fell back and stated that as she was falling she saw the dog start to attack. She put her hands over her face in protection and the dog bit her finger and ear. Part of her ear was missing.

Case Discussion

In the state of New York the laws state that a person who owns a domestic animal and knows that they have vicious tendencies may be held liable if the animal harms a person. However, in order for the owners of an animal to be held liable for the injuries a plaintiff has to establish that the animal had vicious tendencies and that the owners knew about these tendencies.

The evidence needed to show that a dog had or has vicious tendencies includes things such as the dog growling, snapping, or baring its teeth regularly at different people. The way the dog is restrained at any point and if the dog is kept as a guard dog also give evidence that the dog may have vicious tendencies.

In this case there has not been any evidence that the dog had vicious tendencies. There was no reason for the owners to suspect that the dog may attack or injure someone. There were no testimonies given from other individuals who have had issues with the dog and there were no known complaints made about the dog. The dog did tend to bark at people as they came onto the lawn. Jaspar had never been anyone prior to this incident.

The dog’s vet testified and said that Jaspar had some violent tendencies when he was in his care, but stated that both people and pets act differently in the hospital than they do outside of it. He stated that there were no other bites known other than this particular incident

Court Ruling

After carefully reviewing the case and the evidence provided, negligence is not applicable for imposing liability in this particular case. The defendants have supported their motion for a summary judgment in this case with enough evidence and it is hereby granted. The complaint against the defendants is dismissed.

If you are in any type of legal trouble, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates for help. Our team of expert litigators will be happy to sit down and discuss your case with you during a free consultation. Our offices are located throughout the city of New York for your convenience.

Posted in:
Published on:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information