DOG BITES: CARMICAL V. BULLOCK (COA 8/10/2007)

CARMICAL V. BULLOCK
TORTS:  DOGS, STATUTORY LIABILITY, AND COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE 
2006-CA-001595
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL: WINE PRESIDING; COMBS AND NICKELL CONCUR
COUNTY: MADISON
DATE RENDERED: 8/10/2007

Appellant challenges TC’s jury instructions in that he felt the TC should only have included a strict liability instruction consistent with KRS 257.275(1) (now KRS 258.235(4)) on his personal injury claim stemming from a dog attack on Appellee’s property. Appellant argued that this statute and Palmore’s model instructions in dog bite cases call only for a strict liability instruction. The COA disagreed, noting Kentucky courts have previously held this statute does not impose strict liability on a dog owner. The COA determined that an owner’s liability should be subject to comparative negligence, which it found consistent with the law of other states. The COA ultimately found the TC’s instruction to the jury to be consistent with Kentucky legal precedent on dog bite cases.

By Chad Kessinger

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