senate Bill S4629

Provides strict liability for medical costs resulting from a dog bite or bites; exemptions allowed for police work dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Provides strict liability for medical costs resulting from a dog bite or bites; allows exemptions for police work dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs; allows additional recovery where it can be proved that the dog had dangerous or vicious propensities and the owner had knowledge of such propensities.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4629
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Add §11-108, Gen Ob L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4629

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in
relation to liability of owners for dog bites

PURPOSE: To ensure that dog owners take personal responsibility for
the actions of their dog. The bill will hold dog owners strictly
liable for the medical bills incurred by a victim of their dog's bite
or attack.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Adds a new section 11-108 which would hold dog
owners strictly liable for medical costs resulting from an individual
being bitten by a dog.

Creates an exemption for police dogs, hearing dogs or service dogs who
are performing their duties.

States that this bill would be in addition to other statutory remedies
and is not intended to impair or limit other available causes of
action.

JUSTIFICATION: Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten annually
by dogs and about 750,000 of those victims seek medical attention.
Victims often have serious injuries to their face and limbs, yet many
of them cannot recover under New York State law. Currently, the victim
of an attack can only recover if he proves the dog is vicious and that
the owner knew of the dog's vicious propensities. Over the last few
years the number of dog bite injuries has increased and, more recently
in the Capital District, there has been a series of dog-related
injuries. Victims of these attacks often need stitches, vaccinations
and re-constructive surgeries; therefore, it is only fair that the
owner of the animal compensate the victim for these expenses.
Punishing a particular breed of dog will not end the unprovoked
attacks, but encouraging dog owners to take adequate measures to
ensure their dogs are well-trained and socialized can improve public
safety. The goal of this bill is to encourage responsible dog
ownership while ensuring that victims receive compensation for their
injuries.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011/2012 - S.1911 Remained in the Senate
Committee on Judiciary 2009/2010 - S.422 Remained in the Senate
Committee on Judiciary 2007/2008 - S.723 Remained in the Senate
Committee on Judiciary 2005/2006 - S.228 Remained in the Senate
Committee on Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: On the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4629

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GIPSON,  BRESLIN,  DIAZ -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on  Judici-
  ary

AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to liability of
  owners for dog bites

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. This act shall be  known  and  may  be  cited  as  "Frankie
Flora's Law".
  S  2.  The  general obligations law is amended by adding a new section
11-108 to read as follows:
  S 11-108. LIABILITY OF OWNER OF DOG; INJURY TO OTHERS; EXCEPTIONS.  1.
NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THE OWNER OF A DOG SHALL BE
STRICTLY LIABLE FOR MEDICAL COSTS RESULTING  FROM  AN  INDIVIDUAL  BEING
BITTEN  BY  SUCH OWNER'S DOG. IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION ABOVE
AND BEYOND MEDICAL COSTS UNDER  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE
VICTIM  MUST PROVE THE DOG HAD DANGEROUS OR VICIOUS PROPENSITIES AND THE
OWNER HAD KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH PROPENSITIES.
  2. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL AUTHORIZE THE BRINGING OF  AN  ACTION
PURSUANT  TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION AGAINST ANY PERSON, GOVERN-
MENTAL ENTITY OR INSTRUMENTALITY USING A POLICE WORK DOG, HEARING DOG OR
SERVICE DOG FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE IF THE BITE OR BITES OCCURRED WHILE
THE DOG WAS DEFENDING ITSELF FROM AN ANNOYING,  HARASSING  OR  PROVOKING
ACT,  OR ASSISTING AN EMPLOYEE OF THE ENTITY OR LOCALITY IN THE PERFORM-
ANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES.
  3. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO LIMIT OR IMPAIR  ANY  CAUSE  OF
ACTION  AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW AVAILABLE TO A
PERSON INJURED AS A RESULT OF A DOG BITE OR  BITES.  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER STATUTORY REMEDIES.
  S  3.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01724-03-3

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