Legal Question in Personal Injury in Minnesota

dog bite

A neigbors St. Bernard, tied to a tree on our rental propery in Minnesota, bit a 6 yr. old. This person did not have permission, and had been warned previously to keep the dog off of our property. The owner of the dog claims our tenant gave him permission to put the dog there, even though we had told him not to. The child will need 3 corrective surgeries on his face within the next couple of restore the injuries sustained. Could we incur any liability? The dog owner assured the parents of the child that he would turn it in to his homeowners insurance and all costs should be covered. Could the insurance co. deny the claim based on the fact that the incident did not happen on the insured property? If so, do the parents of the injured child have a claim against us?

Asked on 5/31/05, 12:39 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Todd Johnson Johnson & Bannon

Re: dog bite

The following is Minnesota law on the subject of dog bites.

"347.22 Damages, owner liable.

If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where the person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the injury sustained. The term "owner" includes any person harboring or keeping a dog but the owner shall be primarily liable. The term "dog" includes both male and female of the canine species."

Clearly the owner and thus his insurance company is primarily responsible for this dog and his actions. It could possibly be argued that your tenant was keeping the dog but assuming that he denies this it will be difficult to establish his responsibility. Either way, you shouldn't be responsible unless you allowed dog to be on property.

Our office is not representing you on any matter at this time. If you should have a claim brought against you for this matter you should turn it over to your insurance company and they will handle the matter for you.

Good luck.

Read more
Answered on 5/31/05, 1:11 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Personal Injury Law and Tort Law questions and answers in Minnesota