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Child Bitten By Dog at Place of Business, NY Appellate Court Rules for Defendant


Dog owners have many responsibilities. Sometimes, they do not make appropriate choices either because they are hurried, or just out of ignorance. One common bad choice that some dog owners make involves tying their dog up outside of a business while they go in. A dog that is tied up in a strange place if frightened. It does not have an area of safety in which to retreat. This is a bad situation waiting to happen. Further, when a dog owner leaves their dog unsupervised in a public area like the front of a business, they are trusting that everyone who passes the dog will make good judgments. I find that this is rarely the case.

There are certain rules to dealing with dogs. A New York Injury Lawyer said most Americans are taught not to approach a strange dog. When you approach someone’s dog, you ask if you can pet the dog. Then you extend the back of your hand for the dog to sniff. Never go face to face with a dog, the dog will consider this to be an aggressive move and could instigate an attack. I find that people rarely abide by these rules. When they don’t, it will always go worse for the dog than the person who did not use good sense.

In one such case, a dog owner tied his dog in the parking lot of a business and left the dog unattended. The business was an ice cream shop that was closed. The owner was inside preparing the business to open for the season, but had no knowledge of the dog’s owner, or why he chose that parking lot in which to tie his dog. A Suffolk County Personal Injury Lawyer said the mother and her three year old child went into the parking lot, and the child was bitten.

The mother filed a lawsuit to recover damages naming the owner of the dog, the owner of the ice cream business, and all of the employees of the ice cream business. One such employee was not even at work on the day that the child was bitten. She requested a summary judgment to remove her from any liability in that she was not at work, had no knowledge of the dog, did not know the dog’s owner, and did not know the child who was bitten. A Weschester County Personal Injury Lawyer said the court agreed and granted her motion for summary judgment removing her from liability.

There are times when one must wonder who is at fault in an incident like this one. The dog was tied up. The only way that the child could have been bitten by the dog while it was tied up was if she approached the dog within close range. Her mother was with her and allowed her to venture into striking distance of a strange dog. This type of poor judgment is at least partially the reason for this incident. If they had not approached the dog, the child could not have been injured.

However, the dog owner was also at fault. When one is responsible for the actions of another being with its own brain and problem solving concepts, it is never a good idea to leave them unsupervised in a strange environment. If the owner had been with the dog, it is less likely that the incident would have occurred.

In this incident, there is no sense in attaching liability to the owner of the ice cream shop, or her employees. Since the shop was not open, she was not even expecting anyone to be in her parking lot. She could not have predicted that a stranger would tie his dog in the parking lot, or that a mother would allow a three year old to go into the space that the dog could reach on its leash to be bitten. The store owner’s employees who were not even at work, certainly hold no liability here. It is interesting to note that the court also viewed it this way and granted summary judgment to the ice cream storeowner as well.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates if you need a New York Criminal Lawyer to help you. Our New York Dog Bite Lawyers may give you the best defense possible especially if your dog has bitten someone. If you are the victim of a vicious dog or other animal, our New York Dog Bite Attorneys can represent you in court. Whether you have been injured due to the negligence of another, or have been hurt in a car accident or construction accident, contact us for guidance.

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