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Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Dog Bite / Appellate Court Upholds $132,322 Verdict in Dog Bite Lawsuit

Appellate Court Upholds $132,322 Verdict in Dog Bite Lawsuit


A Maryland plaintiff was awarded $132,322 by a jury after she was bitten by a dog that was “running at large”. Maryland imposes strict liability on a dog owner whose dogs are running freely off a leash. That means that the injured party does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent for the injuries. The dog owner is automatically liable if their dog bites someone while the dog is running freely and unleashed.

The rule can be found under Maryland Code, Courts & Judicial Proceedings § 3-1901. The statute allows dog bite victims to recover money damages from the owner of a dog that bites them. The rule excludes liability if the dog bite victim is trespassing on private property or otherwise provokes the dog.

What happened? 

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff left her home and went to her vehicle which was parked behind her home. At around the same time, the defendant was walking her unleashed German Shepherd that entered the alleyway between the plaintiff’s home and the defendant’s home. As the plaintiff got into her car, the dog ran out of the alleyway and bit the plaintiff on the leg. As a result of the dog bite, the plaintiff sustained several puncture wounds where the dog bit her and required medical treatment. The plaintiff testified that even after one year after the accident, she still had continued pain and numbness where the dog had bitten her. She further testified that the dog bite impacted her ability to perform her job because she had difficulty standing for extended periods.

A question before the appeals court centered around whether the dog was running “at large” and whether the verdict was grossly excessive. The appeals court found that the dog was running at large and that the verdict was not grossly excessive as the defendant alleged. The appeals court upheld the verdict against the defendant and the plaintiff was awarded monetary damages because of her complaint.

Dog Bite Lawsuits in Maryland 

Maryland residents are strictly liable for the conduct of their dogs. According to Maryland law, evidence that the dog caused a personal injury or death creates a rebuttable presumption that the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous or had vicious propensities. The owner is liable for any injury or death that the dog causes unless:

  • The injured party was trespassing on private property
  • The injured party was attempting to commit a criminal offense against the dog owner
  • The injured party provoked the dog by teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog

Talk to a Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer Today

 The Maryland dog bite attorneys at Furman | Honick Law represent the interests of plaintiffs who are injured by vicious dog bites. We will help you file a claim against the negligent owner and recover damages related to your injuries. Call our office today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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