Fluffy being wrongly accused
- Amy -
I have taken the time to carefully review FL's statutes and some case
decisions not only for 761.01 but also the various leash laws. From what I can
see, the various leash laws address "roaming at-large" rather then "running
at-large". There is a vast difference between "running" and "roaming" and since
the laws mention "neighbor's property" and "without their permission" I'm led
to believe, or so it appears, that there is no requirement for your dog to
be leashed in your own front lawn or even your neighbor's if they so allow.
The injuries suffered by Roz were NOT foreseeable by Fluffy's owner, in my
opinion, since there is no evidence that the owner was psychic and one would
expect a person walking their dog about the neighborhood on a leash to keep
them under their direct control in accordance with the statute. I personally
find that the statutes, as written, actually go against Roz.
Also, as has been stated by others, FL Statute 761.01 states that the
liability is created when an injury has been DONE by the dog, not caused by the
dog. This can only be interpreted one way in the eyes of the law as I see it
and that would be that the damage must be done directly by the dog. The
wording is not ambiguous.
I also find your adding "proximate cause" flawed if it is intended to relate
to 761.01. If this is a separate cause of action not related to 761.01 I
think Roz has a hard way to go with that one. Issues of the Plaintiff's
behavior go to the subsequent elements of establishing a cause of action in FL
torts since they replaced "contributory negligence" with "comparative
negligence". Under the former law, if you were 1% liable, you paid 100% of the award.
Under the comparative, you pay only that percent the jury finds. Further, in
1992 the FL Supreme Court (Gordon v. State, 608 So. 2d 800) made it loud and
clear that punitive damages are not intended to compensate a claimant. They
are awarded solely for the purpose of punishing truly egregious conduct. I
think the key word here is "egregious".
I don't agree with your belief; I do believe the system is logical. It is
juries that I find illogical when it comes to awards for damages but you have
to pass the first threshold before getting there. I believe there is enough
"legislative intent" as well as unambiguous language in the statutes to
* * * *
You then threw a hypothetical at us with -
Take this set of circumstances:
Male dog goes out
female dog in heat goes out of house.
Male dog runs out in the street to meet female dog.
Car approaches and there is an accident..
Who is at fault?
Although I realize FL has various ordinances about keeping female animals
secluded when in heat, I cannot intelligently address this since you didn't
specify what type of accident. However, most likely the owner of the female dog
in heat would be found liable as that is a specific statute so stated.
This, however, is an entirely different legal premise.
Leave Fluffy alone !!
Sarkis Detective Agency
1346 Ethel Street
Glendale, CA 91207-1826
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