Murrieta, CA asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: My brother is being sued for my dog biting someone while my dog was in its' locked crate. Is my brother liable or am I?

I stay at my brother's house but the dog is mine and I had my dog in a locked crate and this 5'2" person stuck their hand to try to pet my little 8 lb toy dog and was bitten. Tiny bite, now they are suing my brother, they are clearly in search of a free ride. Am I the actual party they should be suing since it is my dog, and do I have a defense against this dog bite suit?

3 Lawyer Answers
Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I think you have a defense if the dog was actually in the crate at the time of the bite. Did your brother say it was okay to stick their finger into the crate? You should sit down with a defense attorney and get some answers to your questions. And ask your brother if he has a homeowners policy. Although I can't imagine the injury is worth very much?

1 user found this answer helpful

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more facts are needed, as both may have exposure.

however, if someone sticks their hand in a crate, that is probably a good defense.

consult with a defense lawyer if there is no homeowners insurance to protect you.

1 user found this answer helpful

Patrick William Steinfeld
Patrick William Steinfeld
Answered
  • Coronado, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question contains numerous self-serving statements. (1) Victim is looking for a "free ride" (2) Individual is "5'2" (3) Your dog is only "toy dog" (4) Tiny bite. The bottom line is your dog bit someone. Hard stop.

You do have some defenses... none of which involve your self-serving statements. (1) The dog was caged. (2) The victim stuck their hand through the cage to pet the dog. So it sounds like you took reasonable precautions and the victim assumed the risk of injury by trying to pet the dog. You didn't state the age of the victim. If it was a child... that changes everything.

If it's such a "tiny bite" I'm surprised it resulted in a lawsuit. It doesn't sound like there is much value here. I can't imagine an attorney suing over a "tiny bite". Are you sure it's a lawsuit... or is it merely a claim? If it's a lawsuit you would have been sued in addition to your brother.

Have your brother contact his insurer. If none, contact a defense attorney or call the victims attorney and try to settle. Good luck. Patrick

1 user found this answer helpful

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