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Dog Bite Case: Action Against Defendant to Recover Damages Dismissed

Dog Bite Case, action against defendant’s dismissed

Decided on December 26, 2013



(Index No. 33521/09)

[*1]Emmeline Sareyani-Coffey, respondent,


Nancy McAleer, as Administrator of the Estate of Ann Zelda Shikora, also known as Annzelda Shikora, deceased, et al., appellants.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendants appeal an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Cohalan, J.), dated May 29, 2012, as denied their respective motions for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The Appellate Division reversed, and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

The plaintiff sued for personal injuries as a result of being attacked by a dog the defendant was taking care of while the dog’s owner’s were on vacation.

To recover in strict liability in tort for a dog bite or attack, a plaintiff must prove that the dog had vicious propensities and that “the owner or the person in control of the dog” knew or should have known of such propensities. Here, The evidence submitted established that the “defendants were not aware, nor should they have been aware, that this dog had ever bitten anyone or exhibited any aggressive behavior” and the plaintiff, in opposition, failed to submit any evidence sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact.

The Appellate Division also found that the Supreme Court also should also dismissed the cause of action for common law negligence, since “New York does not recognize a common-law negligence cause of action to recover damages for injuries caused by a domestic animal”

Daniella Levi & Associates P.C.

This article was reviewed and approved by Daniella Levi, Esq. Ms. Levi is an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney. In practice for over 35 years, she has dedicated her legal career to helping injured persons receive the compensation they deserve. Clients of Ms. Levi have received compensation worth tens of millions of dollars through tireless efforts with settlement negotiations and successful trial verdicts. Read full bio

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