This case is being heard in the Allegany County Supreme Court in the State of New York. The plaintiff in the case is Patricia O’Brien. The defendants in the case are Mark and Carol Amman. The plaintiff is represented by Ethan Lyle, Esq. The defendants are represented by Jam P. Egger, Esq. The judge overseeing the case is James E. Euken.
The allegations that are set before the court are that the defendants own three Labrador retrievers and one of them bit the plaintiff on the 2nd of August, 2007. The plaintiff was on her early morning jog when she encountered the defendant Carol Amman walking her dogs. The defendant was on the opposite side of the street from the plaintiff, but the dogs pulled her towards the plaintiff and one of them proceeded to bite her on the right wrist. The plaintiff went to the hospital for the wound and then was later put in the hospital when the wound became infected.
The defendant has made a motion for a summary judgment in the case. The defendants present evidence to support their motion in the form of an affirmation from their attorney. The defendants state that they are entitled to a summary judgment for two reasons.
The first reason is that on the bill of particulars presented to the court the plaintiff does not prove that the defendants knew or should have known that their three dogs had vicious tendencies. Without this proof they cannot be held liable.
The second reason given by the defendants is that the plaintiff is not sure which one of the dogs bit her. Without being able to prove which dog it was, the case against them must fail.
Case Discussion and Verdict
The court has determined that the argument provided by the defendants that because the plaintiff does not know which dog bit her that the case must be drop, the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, to an extent. There is no argument that all of the dogs in question are owned by the defendants. It is also not argued that one of the dogs bit the plaintiff. For this reason, the argument has no merit.
The second argument of the defendant that shows the dogs have lunged inappropriately at people, but this evidence is not enough to raise an issue of fact towards the viciousness of the animal, is a bit more difficult to determine.
Carol Amman has stated that the dogs have lunged at people and barked at people. This may or may not be considered to be threatening behavior. For this reason the court cannot hold that as a matter of the law that the lunging at a person is not a threatening behavior. For this reason the court has determined that a summary judgment in favor of the defendant Carol Amman is denied.
However, in the case of the defendant Mark Amman, there is no evidence submitted to show that he knew about the vicious tendencies of the dogs. For this reason, the court is granting the summary judgment in favor of the defendant Mark Amman.
Dog bites or other accidental injuries may result in legal action. If you have any legal questions regarding a case such as the one above, contact the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have offices located all over New York City for your convenience. You may call us at any time to set up an appointment to come in for a free consultation.