Thursday, May 23, 2013

Marshall v. Darmody-Latham case brief

Marshall v. Darmody-Latham case brief
783 N.Y.S.2d 738

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff victim of a dog bite sued defendant owner of a dog, seeking damages arising from a dog bite incident. The Supreme Court, Onondaga County (New York), entered summary judgment in favor of the owner. The victim appealed.

FACTS: The owner testified at her deposition that she had never seen the dog bark or growl at anyone, nor had she seen him bite anyone. She was aware that he had been in dog fights before he was rescued by an animal shelter. An investigator for the shelter averred in an affidavit that she knew that the dog was gentle and friendly. She never saw him bite, growl, or bare his teeth, and she never told the owner that the dog was prone to violence. The victim had gotten between the dog and another dog in a fight, and testified that, although he did not see which dog bit him, he was certain it was the owner's dog. The hospital record, however, stated that the owner believed that he had been bitten by a different dog. The appellate court found that the owner established that she had no knowledge that the dog had vicious propensities. In the absence of evidence that the dog was the aggressor in any previous dog fights, the victim failed to raise an issue of fact whether the owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious propensities.

CONCLUSION: The order was affirmed.

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