Dog attack claim lacks “bite.”
We obtained summary judgment in favor of our homeowner clients in a case involving an alleged “attack” by our client’s dog. As the plaintiff walked past the client's property on a public sidewalk, the dog ran out to the edge of the sidewalk barking loudly. The plaintiff became "startled" and stepped back, falling into the street and sustaining a seriously displaced left distal radius fracture that required open reduction and internal fixation. Upon review of the summary judgment motion, the court found no evidence that the dog was a "dangerous dog" or that the dog had ever left the confines of the insured's property. Interestingly, the court ruled that the dog's barking and charging the sidewalk did not represent a breach of duty by the homeowner to the public on the sidewalk under the applicable statutory and case law.