Articles Posted in Dog

Plaintiffs appealed an order granting summary disposition in favor of the defendant in a Michigan premises liability action involving an attack on the plaintiffs’ dog, Axle. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed.

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On May 13, 2015, the plaintiff brought Axle with her out into her backyard to do some gardening. Soon afterward, she left Axle out and went inside to retrieve some gloves. During her brief absence, the plaintiff heard barking at the back fence of her yard. She ran outside and saw Axle on the opposite side of her fence and two pit bulls “on top of him.” The plaintiff observed three or four men in the other yard, one of whom had a shovel and was attempting to beat the pit bulls off of Axle. The plaintiff also grabbed a shovel and cut her hand on the fence as she reached over to help. Eventually, they succeeded in stopping the attack. The plaintiff called Axle’s co-owner, and the two took Axle to a veterinary clinic for emergency care. Axle required specialty care about a week after the incident. Combined, the veterinary bills amounted to around $8,000.

Later, it was discovered that the two dogs belonged to one of several tenants living in the house behind the plaintiff’s backyard. The house where the tenant, his dogs, and his co-tenants resided was owned by their landlord, the defendant.

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court’s denial of summary disposition for a defendant dog owner, reasoning the defendant did not breach a duty of care owed to the plaintiff Fed Ex employee.

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In August 2012, the defendant was reading in his back yard with his dog, who was leashed on a cable that was anchored to the garage. The dog, who was part chow and part pit bull, had a tendency to bark at strangers, but she had never bitten or attacked anyone. The defendant had never received any complaints about her from his neighbors, nor had animal control been called regarding her.

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