Jump to Navigation

Dog Bite Cases

I am a dog owner;  I have also been involved in dog bite cases on the side of both the injured person and the dog owner being sued. 

I recently had an interesting case in which I was representing a dog owner whose dog supposedly bit a person who may have been intoxicated and who also may have walked backwards and accidentally stepped on the dog who was just laying there-  the dog reacted by biting the person in the foot.   The dog bite statute is clear that the dog owner shall be liable- without the need to prove fault- when his/her dog causes injury, so long as when the incident occurs, the injured person was not commiting a trespass or other tort, or was not teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, G.L. c. 140, s. 155. 

I was admittedly a bit conflicted here- I understand the need for the statute, i.e., that is the cost of owning a dog here in Massachusetts, but the "injured" person's own role in this was very relevant in my mind.  We eventually settled this case after a mediation;  the mediator took the position that the "injured" person's actions in possibly being intoxicated and walking backwards without looking did not constitute "an other tort", i.e., her own comparative negligence, and he may have been right.

The point of this story is that here in Massachusetts the dog bite statute clearly protects persons injured by a dog and there are few circumstances where the statute does not apply.

At Harris & Associates, we have had extensive experience in the prosecution and defense of dog bite cases and we are happy to assist you in navigating your way through this deceptively complicated area of the law.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
FindLaw Network
Need Legal Assistance?

Contact us to discuss your insurance claim dispute or tort litigation matter with one of our lawyers today.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Subscribe to this blog's feed
Office Location

Harris & Associates, P.C
15 Broad Street, Suite 701
Boston MA 02109

Telephone: 617-523-1100
Telephone: 617-275-2226
Fax: 617-523-2060

  • Avvo Rating 100 Superb Top Attorney Personal Injury
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Peer Review Rated