In this dog-bite case, defendant dog-owner’s cross motion for summary judgment should have been granted. The Second Department explained the relevant law:
Aside from the limited exception … regarding a farm animal that strays from the place where it is kept …, which is not at issue here, “New York does not recognize a common-law negligence cause of action to recover damages for injuries caused by a domestic animal” … . Thus, “[t]o recover upon a theory of strict liability in tort for a dog bite or attack, a plaintiff must prove that the dog had vicious propensities and that the owner of the dog . . . knew or should have known of such propensities” … . Vicious propensities include the propensity to do any act that might endanger the safety of the persons and property of others … . “Evidence tending to prove that a dog has vicious propensities includes a prior attack, the dog’s tendency to growl, snap, or bare its teeth, the manner in which the dog was restrained, and a proclivity to act in a way that puts others at risk of harm” … .
In support of their cross motion, the defendants made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating, via their affidavits, that they were not aware, and should not have been aware, that their dog had ever bitten anyone or exhibited any aggressive behavior prior to the subject attack … . The defendants averred that they had no knowledge that their dog had ever acted in a hostile or an aggressive manner, and that it had never attacked, bitten, scratched, or otherwise acted in a violent or a belligerent manner towards any human or towards another dog prior to the subject incident … . Bueno v Seecharan, 2016 NY Slip Op 00706, 2nd Dept 2-3-16
ANIMAL LAW (DOG BITE STRICT LIABILITY LAW SUCCINCTLY EXPLAINED)/DOG-BITE (DOG-OWNER’S CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED, LAW EXPLAINED)