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Finally some GREAT news for victims of pit bull attacks!
For the first time, a state's highest court has ruled that a landlord can be held civily liable for damages caused by their tenant's pit bull, regardless of whether the pit bull had a known prior history of attacks or aggressive behaviors. With this landmark decision from the Maryland Court of Appeals, attorneys can now legitimately pursue similiar lawsuits against landlords in other states urging their states to adopt the reasoning in the Maryland decision. Please pass this along to all civil attorneys, state's bar association's trial attorney sections, so they can pursue the same ruling in their courts! Also send to: 1) Anyone in the homeowner's/landlord insurance industry; 2) Animal Control Agencies 3) Government Officials 4) Medical professionals who treat victims - plastic suregeons, etc. 5) Local, regional & National media.
MARYLAND'S TOP STATE COURT ADOPTS STRICT LIABILITY IN RESPECT TO ATTACKS ON HUMANS BY PIT BULL DOGS AND CROSS-BRED PIT BULL DOGS.
Upon a plaintiff’s sufficient proof that a dog involved in an attack is a pit bull or a pit bull cross, and that the owner, or other person(s) who has the right to control the pit bull’s presence on the subject premises (including a landlord who has a right to prohibit such dogs on leased premises) knows, or has reason to know, that the dog is a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull, that person is liable for the damages caused to a plaintiff who is attacked by the dog on or from the owner’s or lessor’s premises. In that case a plaintiff has established a prima facie case of negligence. When an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous. http://mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2012/53a11.pdf
This court decision is already starting to have a significant impact in the community. Soon, as hoped by victims everywhere, the trickle down effect will begin. Victims everywhere will be able to hire attorneys to take their cases to hold landlords, Home Owners Associations and the like, liable for these attacks. This is wonderful news for victims, who have been, in the past, forced to shut up and take their maulings, without any compensation for their medical bills.
The most recent victim in Tucson, has now hired an attorney and is filing a civil suit. This 89 year old woman was viciously mauled by two pit bulls (that were chained together) while simply attempting to check her mail a little ways away from her house. Hopefully, Miriam Seymour's diligence and determination will set a standard for victims in Tucson, and will alert the city council that it is time for change. Thankfully, the owners of these beasts will finally be held accountable for allowing their vicious dogs to get out and cause serious harm to others. Miriam Seymour is still recovering, and we wish a speedy recover for her, as she is in our thoughts and prayers.
I applaud the Maryland court for finally stating the truth about these pit bull type dogs. They are more dangerous and more vicious than other types of dogs, and it's about time that everyone involved in the housing and keeping of these vicious dogs, are held accountable when they attack.