Meet my two year old dog, Brady. Along with all of the love and joy she brings into my life, she also brings a whole lot of liability and responsibility.
As her owner am strictly liable for her actions. If she were to bite someone, I am responsible regardless of whether or not I did anything wrong.
The only statutory defense in Connecticut to a dog bite case is that the plaintiff’s damages were inflicted while the victim was committing a trespass or other tort or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog. For example, I would not be liable if Brady bit a burglar or someone who was abusing her.
Connecticut courts commonly recite that “justice and social policy require that the owner or the keeper of the dog bear the loss rather than the injured third party.”
Accordingly, a Connecticut Superior Court recently granted a plaintiff’s motion to strike a defendant’s special defense of contributory negligence which alleged among other things that the plaintiff was negligent in keeping the dog on short leash. Rodriguez v. Vargas, 2007 WL 3261585 (Conn. Super. 2007) (Upson, J.).
Although, Brady’s two degrees (we like to say she has her master’s degree) from the Connecticut Humane Society won’t help me in a court of law, I’d like to think that they’ll help me avoid court all together. A loving and well trained dog is a wonderful thing.