Shortly after five o’clock on the afternoon of September 8, 1958, an eleven year old boy was playing with his friend on the sidewalk near his home. A dog came out of an adjacent yard, jumped up and bit the boy in the stomach and right leg. As a result of this assault, the boy’s father filed a complaint to address the issue of liability in regards to the dog owners and an assessment of damages by a jury. He made a motion for a summary judgment to be made on both issues. In order to address this case properly it is important to understand the way that New York decides if a dog is vicious. Liability on the part of the owners can only be obtained if they are proven to have been aware of the dog’s propensity to be vicious.
In the state of New York, a dog can be described as vicious even if the current case is the first time that the dog has ever bitten anyone. That is “if” the complainant can show that the dog had exhibited signs of being vicious short of actually biting anyone prior to the dog bite that is in question. Some of the signs that the dog could exhibit to demonstrate viciousness would be growling at people, snarling at people, or just showing its teeth in an aggressive manner in the presence of people. Of course, a previous incident of actual biting is demonstrative of viciousness as well. Some other indicators that the Court will take in to account are things like a “Beware of Dog” sign. A “Beware of Dog” sign demonstrates a certain knowledge of the dog owner that his or her dog is likely to be vicious even if it has never bitten anyone before.
However, in this case the dog has bitten before. And it has bitten before not just once but three times. The first time that the dog bit a person was on his first day home. He was adopted by a nice couple who lived in Queens County, New York. In her deposition, the female owner of the dog stated that she had been given the full grown Dalmatian by a friend sometime in July of 1958. She stated that on that first day that they brought him home, she was feeding him when he bit her on the left arm.
Following that initial biting incident, the dog has bitten the owner’s eighteen year old daughter and her son. She stated that these bites did not injure them. She also stated that she was aware of the dog biting one of her son’s classmates from school when he was over at her house playing with her son.
This information goes in evidence to prove that under New York state law, the owner of the dog did in fact know that the dog had vicious tendencies and did not take any precautions to restrict the dog’s movements or to protect the public from him. In this case, the victim did not go looking for the dog and encourage the dog to bite him. The victim did not attempt to make contact with the dog at all prior to the dog biting and injuring him.
In light of the fact that the owners knew that the dog was vicious and did not restrain it; and in effect because of his lack of restraint, he exited his property and entered onto the public sidewalk. It was here that he attacked the boy with no provocation at all. This Court rules that the motion to find liability with the owner of the dogs is granted and a hearing to determine what damages should be ordered by the jury. The jury will have to set the compensation to the victim according to the Statement of Readiness Rule and the payment of all fees necessary to place the case on the calendar.
Here at Steven Bilkis and Associates, we provide New York Dog Bite Injury Attorneys, New York Injury Lawyers, New York Personal Injury Lawyers and New York Dog Bite Lawyers. Being attacked by a vicious dog can have devastating effects on you and your family members. New York Dog Bite Injury Attorneys will stand by you and ensure that your rights are protected. New York Personal Injury Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are considered. We make sure that you are rightfully awarded compensation for your suffering.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its New York Dog Bite Lawyers has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, New York. Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a New York Dog Bite Injury Attorney you could lose precious compensation to help with your medical bills and the trauma to you and your loved ones following such a frightening experience. This is true even if the Attorney for the dog owner has not adequately made its case. In addition to Personal Injury Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates can recommend New York Criminal Lawyers who will protect your rights if you are ever arrested.