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Statutes of Limitation Applicable to Injuries Caused By Dogs

I receive many telephone calls and e-mail inquiries from people who have been harmed by a dog’s attack.  The first legal question that must be answered in these situations is whether or not it is still possible to file a claim under Connecticut’s Statute of Limitations.  In Connecticut, if a dog causes damage to a person or property, a claim for legal damages can be bought against the owner and/or keeper of the dog under C.G.S. Section 22-357.  There is no specific time deadline for filing set out in that statute. Accordingly, our courts have held that the time deadline for claims against the owner and/or keeper of the dog will be governed by C.G.S. Sec. 52-577. That statute provides for a three year time deadline within which to file a claim.

But be careful!  In some situations, the most likely means of recovering financial compensation for a dog attack may be against the owner of the property where the dog attack occurs.  The property owner is not always the dog’s owner (e.g. property rental situations).  In those cases, the claim filed would be a negligence claim against the property owner.  Those claims are governed by C.G.S. Sec. 52-584.  That statute requires that a claim be filed within a two year deadline.

If you have any questions about the Statute of Limitations that applies to your situation, please contact me directly for a Free Consultation. I handle Dog Attack Claims in all Connecticut Courts.


Connecticut Supreme Court Upholds Landlord Liability for Dog Attacks

In the recent Connecticut Supreme Court case of Giacalone v. Housing Authority of the Town of Wallingford, the court upheld the right of a person injured in a dog attack to pursue a claim for damages against a landlord if the landlord knows that there is a dangerous dog on the premises and fails to take remedial action.  The plaintiff in the case, Patricia Giacalone, filed suit after she was attacked by a dog and suffered injuries at an apartment complex.  The trial judge dismissed the complaint and ruled that the only person to sue in such a situation would be the owner or keeper of the dog.  The Connecticut Appellate Court reversed that decision and ruled that a person injured in a dog attack could also recover damages from a landlord who is aware of the dangerous dog.  The Connecticut Supreme Court upheld that decision.

“This decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court acknowledges the importance of holding property owners and landlords legally accountable when they allow dangerous conditions to exist on their properties.  It also makes clear that it is important that a person injured in a dog attack have an opportunity to recover legal compensation for injuries from a number of different potential sources.  Oftentimes, the dog owner or keeper does not have liability insurance to cover these damages.”  Timothy L. O’Keefe, Kenny, O’Keefe & Usseglio, P.C.


Pit Bull Attack on Postal Worker Trial to Begin

The jury trial involving the pit bull attack of a postal worker in Terryville, Connecticut has been scheduled to begin on April 3, 2013 at New Britain Superior Court in New Britain, Connecticut.

The plaintiff, United States Postal Worker Michael Bonola, is represented by Attorney Timothy L. O’Keefe of the Hartford trial law firm of Kenny, O’Keefe & Usseglio, P.C.

“The Connecticut Dog Bite Statute allows a person injured or harmed by a dog owned by another person to bring a lawful claim for damages in Superior Court. To date, the defendant has refused to accept legal responsibility for this attack. We have no choice but to present the case to a jury to request a fair and adequate award of damages for Mr. Bonola’s injuries.”  –Timothy L. O’Keefe, Esq.


Waterbury Dog Law Toughened, Requiring Restraints In Public

Waterbury is putting teeth in its vicious-dog ordinance.

The Republican American reports (http://bit.ly/SepWCy ) that the Board of Aldermen has approved a change to the city’s code of ordinances, requiring owners to restrain their vicious dog at home in addition to previous rules restraining dogs in public.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury involving a dog, you should consult with and experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation under Connecticut’s Dog Bite Statute.

Click here to read the whole story: http://tinyurl.com/95gf93s


Separate Dog Attacks in Groton and Tolland, Same Day

A 20-year old woman and a 70-year old man were attacked on Tuesday, August 28th in unrelated dog attacks involving pitbulls.  Both victims are in stable condition and the offending dogs have been taken into custody by the local animal control units.  For more informtion about these attacks you can read the article via the link below.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury involving a dog, you should consult with and experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation under Connecticut’s Dog Bite Statute.

http://tinyurl.com/9obaeab


Connecticut Appellate Court Holds Recovery Under Dog Bite Statute Limited to “Active or Affirmative” Conduct of a Dog

In a decision officially released on April 24, 2012, the Connecticut Appellate Court has re-affirmed prior appellate court decisions that have held that a damage recovery under the Connecticut Dog Bite Statute is limited to those circumstances where the damage or injury complained of was caused by active or affirmative conduct of a dog.

 

The plaintiff in the case of Atkinson v. Santore filed a lawsuit against a homeowner claiming she was potentially exposed to the rabies virus due to her contact with a homeowner’s dogs that had come into contact with a rabid raccoon.  The plaintiff did not observe the dogs have any physical contact with the raccoons.  The plaintiff argued that the Dog Bite Statue does not require an active or affirmative act on the part of the dog to allow recovery.

 

The Connecticut Appellate Court disagreed and stated that, “our courts have long held that the [Dog Bite Statute] applies only to a dog’s volitional conduct that is either vicious or mischievous rather than innocent or voluntary.”

 

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury involving a dog, you should consult with and experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation under Connecticut’s Dog Bite Statute.

Superior Court Holds that Statutory Defense Does Not Require Proof of Intentional Conduct

In the Superior Court case of Kizer v. O’Neal, Judge Thomas Corradino recently held that engaging in conduct which is naturally likely to irritate and provoke a dog is sufficient to preclude recovery under the Dog Bite Statute. Therefore, a child too young to realize that rough housing could provoke a dog into biting may be barred from recovery under the Dog Bite Statute, even though the child was engaging in innocent play. Every case is different, so you should consult an experienced attorney in this area if you have questions about your particular situation.


Dog Bite Statute Applies Only to Injuries Caused by Active Conduct of Dog

A Connecticut Superior Court judge recently held that the Connecticut Dog Bite Statute and its strict liability provisions apply only to injuries caused by some active conduct by the dog. In the case of Moulton v. Coffee & More, LLC, et al., Judge Jerry Wagner ruled that a case involving a plaintiff who tripped over a dog who was lying next to the entrance of a store did not give rise to liability under the strict liability provisions of the Dog Bite Statute. Judge Wagner ruled that there would need to be some affirmative act on behalf of the dog for the statute to apply. This case demonstrates that every factual situation is different and every case must be analyzed closely by an experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to determine if there is a viable claim for monetary damages under the circumstances.


Connecticut Appellate Court Recognizes Common Law Action for Damages Against Landlord Who is Not Owner/Keeper of Dog

In the recent Connecticut Appellate Court case of Giacalone v. Housing Authority of the Town of Wallingford, the court held that a plaintiff could file a common law negligence claim for monetary damages against a landlord who had prior notice of the dangerous propensities of a dog without proving that the landlord was the owner or keeper of the dog.  This important case will allow many more victims of dog attacks to recover compensation for their injuries and damages.  It will also assist in holding more people accountable for their negligence in connection with dog attacks.


Hartford Police: Dog Attacks Man, Man Shoots Dog

A man taking out his garbage Monday morning on Melrose Street was attacked by his neighbor’s pit bull terrier, police said. The man then pulled out a handgun and shot the dog dead.

Police responded to the call about 6:45 a.m., after the shooting.

Sgt. Christene Mertes said the person attacked by the dog had a valid pistol permit and a properly licensed handgun, and he was not charged.

Police located the dog owner, who told them he’d let the dog out of the house to relieve itself when it took off across the street.

The victim reported minor wounds from the dog.

Hartford Police: Dog Attacks Man, Man Shoots Dog – Courant.com.


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