Thursday, September 18, 2014

No Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases

In the recent Lycoming County decision in the case of Warner v. Campbell, PICS Case No. 14-1352 (C.P. Lycoming Co. Aug. 4, 2014 Anderson, J.), the court granted a defendant's motion to dismiss a plaintiff's strict liability medical expenses claim in a dog bite case.

According to a summary of the decision, the plaintiffs were, in essence, asserting in their Complaint that the defendant dog owner was strictly liable under Section 459-502 of Pennsylvania's "Dog Law" for medical expenses incurred as a result of a dog bite.

The defense filed preliminary objections and asserted that Pennsylvania law did not recognize strict liability in this regard.  The court agreed relying, in part, on the case of Rosenberry v. Evans which required proof of a dog owner's negligence before liability could be found.

To view an unsigned copy of this Opinion and Order online, click HERE.

A copy of this decision can also be secured by contacting the Instant Case Service of the Pennsylvania Law Weekly at 1-800-276-7427 and providing the above PICS Case No. and paying a small fee.

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