Maryland’s Dog-Bite Liability Bill Fails in Special Session

August 20, 2012

A measure that Maryland lawmakers hoped would address liability concerns relating to a court ruling on dog bites by pit bulls has died in the recent special session on gambling.

The House and Senate could not reconcile differences between the two chambers last week.

Lawmakers wanted to change the law to address liability concerns over a breed-specific court ruling by Maryland’s highest court, which determined pit bulls to be “inherently dangerous.”

The ruling means that in an attack involving a pit bull, plaintiffs in civil lawsuits don’t have to prove the animal’s prior violent behavior for the owner to be held liable for damages. The ruling also means landlords can be held liable in dog-bite cases on their property.

The failure to pass the bill means the court’s ruling will stand.

Topics Legislation Maryland

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