Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty Law Blog

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dog Bites: The Most Recent Bronx Attack and Current Law

We here at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty are responsible and loving dog owners, but that does not change our commitment to providing justice for those that have been hurt in vicious dog attacks.

On Friday, a man was attacked by two pit bulls in the Bronx. Dog bites are particularly dangerous, and almost always they require the supervision of a medical professional to prevent the spread of infections or virulent diseases like rabies. For example, the two pit bulls in question are being examined right now to make sure that they do not have rabies. If you are bitten by an unknown dog, make sure to immediately speak to a medical professional to get the proper treatment.

In New York, under certain circumstances, individuals who are bit and maimed by dogs can initiate a lawsuit against the dog owner and the landlord of the dog's owner for negligence. It is, in general, very difficult to maintain an action against the owner of a dog because of the "one bite rule." This rule was reinforced in the recent Court of Appeals case Doerr v. Goldsmith, which held against the plaintiff for failing to prove "whether defendants had notice of the animals' harmful proclivities." In short, if a dog hasn't bitten anyone before, it will be very difficult to sue the dog owner.

However, it appears that in this case, the dog had attacked several other dogs over the course of the summer and had a reputation as a dangerous animal. In those situations, a lawsuit may possibly be maintained against the dog owner for any bites from that dog. As in all possible lawsuits, make sure to contact an attorney who can protect your rights if you believe that you have been a victim of a dog bite attack. And if you are bitten by a dog, unknown or known, make sure to contact the NYC Department of Health and Human Hygiene to report the attack.

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