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Personal Injury Blog

  • Maryland Legislature's Reaction to Pit Bull Case

    Posted By bierachin || 20-Jun-2012

    The Maryland Legislature is threatening to pass a bill to overturn a recent Court of Appeals decision that was designed to protect victims injured by pit bull attacks.  The court decision determined that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are an inherently dangerous breed, and as a result, owners of this breed will be held strictly liable if their pit bull causes injury.  This decision gave victims injured by a pit bull attacks, the benefit of not having to contend with the stonewalling tactics of dog owners in order to bypass the "first bite rule."  If this decision is overturned, injured victims will once again have to face the challenging task of  proving that the pit bull had a prior propensity for attack.  In a letter to Governor Martin O'Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. voiced their concerns about the effects the decision would have on dogs, dog  owners, property owners, and landlords.  These concerns, however, are primarily for people who knowingly assume the risk of owning a dangerous breed and for people who knowingly allow this dangerous breed on their property.  This group can make the choice to protect themselves.  Where are the lawmakers' concerns for innocent victims who have no choice over whether they encounter this dangerous breed?  The letter also states that the legislature is appointing a Joint Task Force to make recommendations on this matter.  Legislation concerning the court decision may be considered as quickly as this summer, in a possible second special session.  The Maryland Legislature should be working to protect its innocent constituents, rather than choosing to protect the pockets of property owners and landlords.

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