In this action, a couple who owned two curly coated bichon frises filed an action against another dog and its owner. The couple seeks injury damages to include the costs of veterinarian services, two days lost wages in caring for another dog and all other appropriate damages.
The incident happened when the owner of the German shepherd allowed her dog to run loose without a leash and it occurred twice. On those two occasions, the German shepherdentered onto the couples’ property and viciously attacked the curly coated bichon frise causing severe injury. On both occasions, the bichon frise was taken to a veterinarian for treatment of the injuries inflicted by the German shepherd. The veterinarian bills were $392 for the first dog attack and $182 for the second animal attack.
Consequently, the couple commenced a lawsuit in another court seeking damages for the injuries sustained by their dog and themselves. After the proceeding, the court found that the German shepherd and its owner were responsible for the injuries inflicted upon the bichon frises and awarded damages of $524.
After a year, the younger bichon frise was with his owner who was in his driveway shoveling snow. Suddenly, the German shepherd appeared, sniffed and viciously attacked the bichon frise. The owner of the bichon frise chased the German shepherd away and took his dog to the veterinarian. The bichon frise remained hospitalized for four days and undergone a surgery. The photographs presented at trial showing a 10 inch wound held together with surgical staples running from the bichon frise’s stomach to his back. The veterinarian bills for the dog’s hospitalization, care and treatment were $819, considerably more than those incurred by the other bichon frise just the year before.
The couple then initiated an action seeking again damages. In response, the owner of the German shepherd stated that she had built a fence around her backyard to keep her dog enclosed. Unfortunately, the German shepherd escaped from the enclosure, went to the couple’s house and mauled the bichon frise. Based upon the facts of the case the court finds that the couple has stated a cognizable reason of action for strict liability for injuries caused by a vicious and dangerous dog.
Based on record, the owner of the German shepherd knew full well that her dog possessed vicious tendency aince on two prior occasions the dog attacked the bichon frise causing substantial injuries for which the court found her liable and responsible. The construction of the fence by the owner of the shepherd to enclose the dog has no significance because in law liability is not dependent upon proof of negligence in the manner of keeping or confining the animal since, in fact, the dog escaped and viciously attacked and mauled bichon frise. All of the elements of a strict liability reason of action-vicious dog are met and the court finds the owner of the shepherd strictly liable for all appropriate damages.
Consequently, the court awards damages to the couple which includes the $819 veterinarian bills for the bichon frise’s hospitalization, care and treatment, the $156 lost wages incurred by the couple in caring for the bichon frise. Further, the court also finds that the owner of the shepherd misconduct to be morally liable and her dog was a dangerous instrumentality. The punitive damages are appropriate in the case and are needed to prevent other dog owners from failing to protect humans and other animals from vicious and dangerous dogs. Additionally, such damages will encourage the owner of the shepherd to take appropriate measures in the future to protect her neighbors from her dog or similar like-minded dogs. The court awards the couple for punitive damages amounting $1,000.
The experience of being attack by an animal is very traumatic. It can bring physical injuries and emotional distress on the part of the victim regardless if the victim is a human or another animal. If you’ve been in the same situation, the NY Dog Attack Lawyer or New York Animal Attack Attorney can offer you legal assistance in seeking damages. If you experienced emotional pain, you can choose to be represented by the NY Injury Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.