The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on January 6, 2010, that a dog bite victim may pursue the dog owner for damages under the dog bite statute and for negligence under the common law. This is a great court ruling for dog bite victims. This decision was a victory for the family of a twelve year old girl who was mauled by a dog.
The trial judge had allowed the girls mother to sue the dog owner only under Ohios dog bite statute, limiting the money award in the case. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $5,000.00 for the girls medical bills and other costs. The mother appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court, finding that the mother should have been entitled to bring this action under both Ohios dog bite statute and theories of common law negligence. The dog owner appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals. This is a very important victory for dog bite victims. We now can file suit under R.C. 9955.28, the dog bite statute, and for negligence under the common law. This will allow dog bite victims to pursue additional compensatory damages, as well as possible punitive damages.
The name of the case is Beckett v. Warrenn, Supreme Court No. 2008 2106, decided January 6, 2010.