Essay on Final Memo

4612 Words Nov 26th, 2011 19 Pages
To: Prof. Lang
From: A. Foster
Date: November 23, 2010
Re: Smith’s defenses to dog bite
Questions Presented:
1) Under Florida Statute Section 767.04 which sets the defenses in which a dog owner can avoid liability due to injury caused by a dog bite, can dog owner avoid liability by using the defense of provocation for injuries caused by a dog bite when the owner’s dog bit an 8 year old child, when said minor while dressed in a cat costume came onto our client’s property, noticed client’s Yorkshire Terrier puppy, ran up to the window in which he viewed the puppy, while knocking on client’s window and yelling “trick or treat” with other costumed children on Halloween and was bitten when the owner opened the door to hand out treats to
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Our client has comprehensive insurance in which he believes may cover the expenses to the injury if he is shown to be liable. Plaintiff went to other homes that night where dogs were present, but he had no problems with dogs until he was bitten by The Beast. He has never had any prior dog bites and Plaintiff himself owns a dog, a large mutt. Plaintiff wants The Beast put down. Plaintiff had admitted during his interview that he did not read the warning sign on the client’s window and he stated that he never saw the sign. Additionally, he refused to read the sign aloud or interpret the sign’s meaning during the interview. Plaintiff alleges that he stays home most of the time because of the dog bite injury.
Discussion:
The issue we are addressing is whether or not our client has a statutory defense to avoid liability for the dog bite injury that occurred on his premises on October 31, 2009. Florida’s current dog bite statute, Florida Statute Section 767.04 recognizes only two statutory defenses; (1) “when there is any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident, it reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed the biting

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