New Jersey Court: Pet Sitter Can Sue Dog’s Owners Over Bite

December 26, 2012

A New Jersey appellate court says a woman injured by a dog she was being paid to watch can sue the animal’s owners.

The Star-Ledger reports the Bergen County woman agreed to care for her neighbor’s golden retriever while they were on vacation. In exchange, she would get about $300.

While at the woman’s home, the dog bit and injured her when she tried to pick up a napkin. But a Superior Court judge ruled she wasn’t entitled to damages unless she showed the dog’s owners knew it was vicious or prone to attacks.

But the appellate court disagreed in a decision issued Friday.

The panel found the judge erred by classifying the woman as an independent contractor, because she earned extra income by working for a pet-sitting agency.

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