senate Bill S1191

2011-2012 Legislative Session

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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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to judiciary
Jan 05, 2011 referred to judiciary

Co-Sponsors

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S1191 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Add §11-108, Gen Ob L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S422

S1191 - Bill Texts

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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 NUMBER:S1191

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

PURPOSE:
To hold dog owners strictly liable for the medical bills
incurred by a victim of their dog's bite or attack.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 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.

Section 2 creates an exemption for police dogs, hearing dogs or
service dogs who are performing their duties.

Section 3 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:
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.

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

                                  1191

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  BRESLIN, ADAMS, DILAN, PARKER, SAMPSON, SAVINO --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the Committee on Judiciary

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. 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 2. 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.
                                                           LBD05180-01-1

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