The Twelve Days of Tort Law: Dog Bites

On the sixth day of Christmas, a marshal served on me! A suit alleging strict liability!

Welcome to part six of The Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler’s festive twelve part pseudo-satirical series on Connecticut personal injury law: dog bites. In Connecticut, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22-357, a dog’s owner is “strictly liable” for any damages caused by his/her dog if that dog bites someone. 

What does is it mean to be “strictly liable” for something? Good question. Strict liability means that no matter the circumstances that gave rise to a particular event, you are on the hook for damages once that event occurs. In the context of dog bites, this means that if your dog bites someone, you are on the hook for their medical expenses no matter why your dog bit the person.

There are, of course, some exceptions to this. For instance, Connecticut law does not allow recovery for a person who first “teased,” “abused,” or “tormented” a dog that bit them. It is worth noting that no person under the age of seven may be said to have “teased,” “abused” or “tormented” a dog that bits them.

Now, because this is a Christmas series, you probably are wondering what ridiculous way I am going to say this can ruin your holiday. However, because this is an easy one I am going to leave the specifics to your imagination. Create a good story in your head, because on Day Seven the marshal will be bringing a prejudgment remedy and seeking to lien your house for it!

Life’s not always fair, but it may be fairer than you think it is. You shouldn’t have to suffer over someone’s else’s error. If you’re in a bind, the Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler may be able to help.

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