New York High Court Dismisses Dogbite Lawsuit

October 27, 2011

New York’s highest court has dismissed a 4-year-old lawsuit against Marijane Reilly of Onondaga County and her Labrador-husky mix Mollie, citing a legal precedent known as “first bite.”

John and Lisa Smith sued because Mollie broke her leash and ran to the street in the town of Marietta. The dog collided with John Smith’s bicycle, throwing him over the handlebars.

On Tuesday the high court found Mollie had no record for chasing cars or bikes or running into the road.

The “first bite” legal precedent requires in many cases that a dog have a history of biting someone once before owners can be held liable for letting it dangerously loose.

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