Dog Bite Statue Case Study

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The Illinois ‘Dog Bite Statue’ states the following:
“If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is peaceable conducting himself in any place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such a dog or other animal is liable in damages to such person for the full amount of the injury sustained”
According to this statue and in the case of Beckert v. Risberg, four elements were laid down to decide the liability of the defendant:
1. Injury was caused by the dog owned by the defendant
2. There was a lack of provocation
3. There was a peaceable conduct of the person injured
4. The person injured was present at the place lawfully
Out of these four elements, two are not in dispute i.e. ownership of the dog (#1) which
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Stebbins, the plaintiff was attacked by a dog belonging to the defendant when he was walking on the pathway leading up to the defendant’s home. Both the plaintiff and the defendant agreed to the fact that there were no signs which indicated that the pathway was off limits. The court had held that if the property owner has provided a path connected with the public road which leads to his/her home, then he consequently grants a license to any individual to use the pathway at the ordinary hours of the day to conduct his/her lawful business. Hence, as there was no sign indicating that the pathway was off limits the plaintiff had a license to use the …show more content…
What would construe as provocation? In the case of Sieworth v. Charleston, the plaintiff, while playing with his friend on his friend’s porch started kicking the friends dog. Each kick was subsequently followed by a growl by the dog and after several kicks the dog responded by biting the face of the plaintiff. The court had held that the plaintiff knew that his action was angering the dog and this would be construed as provocation. In addition to this it was said that the age of the plaintiff is irrelevant because of the simple fact that he was aware of his actions and that it was angering the dog.
Unintentional provocation and proportionate response: In the case of Nelson v. Lewis, the plaintiff while playing a game at the defendant’s home, was thrown in the direction of the dog and she without any intent of harming the dog had stepped on the tail of the dog. In response to this the dog had scratched the plaintiff. The court had held that the intent was not a relevant factor to be taken into consideration when it comes to the ‘Dog Bite Statute’. In addition to this the court did take into account the question that whether the dog’s reaction to the girl’s action was proportional. The court held that the attack was indeed

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