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In Scavetta v. Wechsler, 2017 NY Slip Op 01985 (App. Div. 1st Dept. March 16, 2017), the court applied the “vicious propensity” rule to affirm the summary judgment dismissal of a personal injury case arising from a dog escaping from an unsecured bike rack. At the same time, the court “acknowledge[d] plaintiffs’ persuasive argument that […]

Lawsuit: Bitten by Police Horse

by mjpospis on August 24, 2015

in Lawsuits, Personal Injury

Here is the complaint, captioned Ekberg v. City of New York (NY Sup. Ct., NY Cty., Index # 158642/2015, filed 8/20/15) in which plaintiff alleges that she was injured after being bitten by a NYPD horse while on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. (I’m very curious to know why, in 2015, large animals with teeth are present in […]

Dog-bite injuries can be serious and in some cases deadly. If it happens to you, can you (successfully) sue under New York law for damages? It depends. Unlike in other types of personal injury cases, a person injured by a domestic animal (e.g., a dog) may not proceed on a theory of negligence. Rather, under […]

In Doerr v. Goldsmith, decided by the New York Court of Appeals on June 9, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals (for non-New York readers, New York’s highest court) reversed the decision of the First Department in Doerr v. Goldsmith, 110 AD3d 453, which permitted a claim arising from a dog-related injury to continue. […]

In Ciliotta v. Ranieri, a dog bite case, the Supreme Court, Kings County, dismissed plaintiff’s case, finding that there was insufficient evidence that the dog had “vicious propensities” as required by New York law. It all started with a friendly discussion between neighbors. Involving thrown dog poo and choking: On April 14, 2011, Defendant Nicole […]

An upstate appellate court recently held – despite contrary suggestions in popular culture – that chimpanzees are not “persons” (at least not in the legal sense). In People ex rel. Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Lavery, the court affirmed the dismissal of a habeas corpus proceeding to secure the release of a chimpanzee named Tommy. Specifically, it addressed […]

“Dognapped” Bulldog Returned to Owner

by mjpospis on November 10, 2014

in Uncategorized

Every so often I am given the opportunity to handle cases outside my usual practice areas that I find interesting and that, most importantly, give me a chance to right a wrong. One such case involved a female English bulldog/movie star named “Chunk” (pictured), in which the plaintiff retained me to recover Chunk from her ex-boyfriend who took, […]

Lucky the dog was a very, very bad boy – but the shelter from which he was adopted may end up paying the price for his aggressive behavior. The case is Tighe v. North Shore Animal League America (NY Sup. Ct. Nassau Cty. Oct. 10, 2014, Index # 600080/2013). In sum, plaintiff sued to recover for […]

Bodega Cat-Attack Suit Dismissed

by mjpospis on August 15, 2014

in Personal Injury

My bodega, Village Farm & Grocery – where I’ve gotten my paper on my way to the subway for the past 10+ years – used to have a sweet, cow-colored cat named “Princess” who, in my experience, was nothing like the “opossum-like” monster described in Napolitano v. Alshaebi. Here are the facts of that case, […]

The Case of the Ungrateful Dog

by mjpospis on December 31, 2013

in Personal Injury

In Gervais v. Laino, plaintiff sought to recover for injuries inflicted by defendant’s dog.  The court held that plaintiff’s complaint should have been dismissed. Plaintiff stated that while walking in Central Park, she saw the dog, whose hind paw was caught in a fence and who was wailing in pain.  The parties apparently disputed whether […]