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Plaintiff alleges 80 pound overly exuberant dog runs into her, causing tears of ACl and PCL on same knee – Two arthroscopic surgeries.

Monmouth County, NJ

The plaintiff, 26 at the time, had brought her small dog to the defendant’s home so the plaintiff’s dog and the defendant’s 80 pound Staffordshire terrier could have a play date. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant was aware that her dog was prone to becoming overly excited and exuberant and should have taken steps to restrain the dog. The plaintiff contended that as a result, the dog ran into her with such force that she heard a popping sound in her knee and suffered tears to the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament on the same knee. The plaintiff contended that despite two arthroscopic surgeries, she will suffer permanent pain and weakness, and that the knee is subject to giving out. The defendant denied that the dog was prone to such exuberance or that she had previously had any complaints about the dog.

The defendant had previously been granted Summary Judgment and the Appellate Division reversed and remanded for trial, holding that a fact issue as to whether the dog was overly playful or exuberant. There was no evidence of prior vicious propensities and since the plaintiff did not suffer a bite, the strict liability Dog Bite Statute did not apply.The jury found for the defendant.

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