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$________ JUDGMENT FOLLOWING BENCH TRIAL – Dog Bite – Plaintiff alleged that defendant was strictly liable for his dog biting plaintiff – Lacerations to right eyelid – Scarring

Hartford County, CT

In this dog bite case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant owner was liable for the actions of his dog when it bit the plaintiff in the face. The plaintiff suffered injuries to her eyelid which required stitches, and was left with residual scarring from the incident. The defendant denied the allegations, and maintained that the plaintiff had been warned to stay away from the dog, but ignored the defendant’s warnings, and placed herself in front of the dog’s face and was bitten.

On July 1, ________, the 28-year-old female plaintiff came upon the premises of the defendant for a barbeque. The plaintiff was not a guest of the defendant, but rather was invited by another guest. The plaintiff brought her Chihuahua dog with her to the party, despite not being invited by the defendant owner. The defendant owner owned a dog which was 12 years old, blind in one eye, and uncomfortable around strangers. The defendant’s home was marked with various signs indicating that the dog was not friendly, and the defendant verbally warned the plaintiff and his other guests of this fact. The dog was penned up for most of the festivities, however, during the tail end of the party, the dog had to go out to relieve itself, and was taken by the defendant who kept the dog away from the guests. The plaintiff bent down to pet the dog, and it bit her in the face, cutting her right eyelid. The plaintiff was taken to the hospital by friends. She was administered stitches for her laceration and released. The plaintiff has minor permanent scarring on her eyelid as a result of the incident. The plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the defendant owner was strictly liable for the dog bite and sought damages.

The defendant owner denied the allegations, and maintained that despite multiple warnings, the plaintiff – who was intoxicated – approached the dog when she was well aware that the dog was not friendly to strangers. The defendant argued that he should not be held strictly liable, since the plaintiff was not an invited guest on the premises, teased, tormented, and annoyed the dog.The matter was tried before the court. At the conclusion of the two day trial, the court found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded the sum of $________ in damages, consisting of $________ in non-economic damages, and $________ in medical expenses.

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