Prior to 2012, in order for a plaintiff in Maryland to prevail in a dog bite case against the dog’s owner, the plaintiffs had to show that the dog owner “knew or should have known” that their dog was vicious.
The 2012 Tracey v. Solesky Ruling Says That Pit- Bull Owners Are Strictly Liable For Bites By Their Dogs
In 2012, the Maryland court overseeing the Tracey v. Solesky case modified the earlier standard and found that pit bulls are inherently dangerous animals, and that the owners of pit bulls are strictly liable for the attacks by the dogs. Many groups were not happy about this decision. The Humane Society of the United States, the Best Friends Animal Society, as well as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals even protested, held rallies and testified against the Solesky decision at hearings.
Maryland Legislators Have Plans To Overturn The Tracey v. Solesky Decision
Now, lawmakers in Maryland are trying to pass a bill that would overturn the 2012 Tracey v. Solesky decision. A new bill extending liability to all breeds of dogs is currently making its way through the General Assembly. According to ABA Journal, the bill “would create a presumption that all dog owners are liable for bites by their pets, no matter what breed.” However, showing that the dog was docile before the attack could defeat this presumption. The sponsors of the bill hope that this bill will improve the protections granted to dog bite victims.
Dog Bite Cases:
Dog bite cases fall in the realm of personal injury lawsuits and are typical concerns of all dog owners. Although state laws vary, in order to bring a personal injury lawsuit for a dog bite, the victim of the dog bite must usually be able to show that the dog owner was negligent and that the victim of the dog bite suffered injuries from the bite.
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