Animals

In Hewitt v. Palmer Veterinary Clinic, PC, No. 28, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 05975, 2020 WL 6163313 (N.Y., Oct. 22, 2020), the New York Court of Appeals held that the so-called “vicious propensity notice” rule – generally applicable to situations where an injury results from a domestic animal – was inapplicable here, where the alleged attack…

Read More “Vicious Propensity” Rule Inapplicable to Claim Arising From Dog Attack in Veterinary Clinic Waiting Room
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In Scavetta v. Wechsler, 2017 NY Slip Op 01985 (App. Div. 1st Dept. March 16, 2017), the court applied the “vicious propensity” rule to affirm the summary judgment dismissal of a personal injury case arising from a dog escaping from an unsecured bike rack. At the same time, the court “acknowledge[d] plaintiffs’ persuasive argument that…

Read More Court (Reluctantly) Applies “Vicious Propensity” Rule to Dismiss Personal Injury Case Arising From Escaping Dog
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Here is the complaint, captioned Ekberg v. City of New York (NY Sup. Ct., NY Cty., Index # 158642/2015, filed 8/20/15) in which plaintiff alleges that she was injured after being bitten by a NYPD horse while on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. (I’m very curious to know why, in 2015, large animals with teeth are present in…

Read More Lawsuit: Bitten by Police Horse
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Dog-bite injuries can be serious and in some cases deadly. If it happens to you, can you (successfully) sue under New York law for damages? It depends. Unlike in other types of personal injury cases, a person injured by a domestic animal (e.g., a dog) may not proceed on a theory of negligence. Rather, under…

Read More Who’s a Bad Boy? “Vicious Propensities” and New York Dog Bite Law
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In Doerr v. Goldsmith, decided by the New York Court of Appeals on June 9, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals (for non-New York readers, New York’s highest court) reversed the decision of the First Department in Doerr v. Goldsmith, 110 AD3d 453, which permitted a claim arising from a dog-related injury to continue.…

Read More NY Court of Appeals Adheres to “Vicious Propensity” Rule for Dog-Related Injuries
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In Ciliotta v. Ranieri, a dog bite case, the Supreme Court, Kings County, dismissed plaintiff’s case, finding that there was insufficient evidence that the dog had “vicious propensities” as required by New York law. It all started with a friendly discussion between neighbors. Involving thrown dog poo and choking: On April 14, 2011, Defendant Nicole…

Read More Brooklyn Dog Bite Case Dismissed Where Protective Dog Was Not Shown to Have “Vicious Propensities”
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An upstate appellate court recently held – despite contrary suggestions in popular culture – that chimpanzees are not “persons” (at least not in the legal sense). In People ex rel. Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Lavery, the court affirmed the dismissal of a habeas corpus proceeding to secure the release of a chimpanzee named Tommy. Specifically, it addressed…

Read More Court Explains Why Chimpanzees Aren’t “Persons” For Purposes of New York’s Habeas Corpus Statute
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My bodega, Village Farm & Grocery – where I’ve gotten my paper on my way to the subway for the past 10+ years – used to have a sweet, cow-colored cat named “Princess” who, in my experience, was nothing like the “opossum-like” monster described in Napolitano v. Alshaebi. Here are the facts of that case,…

Read More Bodega Cat-Attack Suit Dismissed
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