Ohio residents are probably aware of the new dangerous dog law that is getting a lot of attention in the news. The new law was enacted this May and labels a "dangerous dog" as one that injured another person without provocation, killed a dog, or gotten loose three times or more. The law also labels "vicious dog" and "nuisance dog."
Premises liability states that property owners have a duty to keep the property safe for people visiting. This duty includes warning people about dangerous dogs. If property owners know of a dangerous condition or unsafe condition and fail to adequately warm or remedy the situation, they may be liable to anyone insure because of the danger.
One Ohio dog owner is challenging the new dog-labeling system. This issue on appeal is whether her dog was provoked when he bit a man. The dog owner claims that the man was trying to beak into her house when the dog bit him. The man says that he was merely walking by her house at the time of the attack.
If the dog is labeled as "dangerous," the charges will be considered fourth-degree misdemeanors. But if the dog was not labeled that way at the time of the incident, which is what the woman is arguing, then the case will only be a minor misdemeanor.
Dogs labeled as dangerous must have a special tags denoting the label and they need to be fenced. Dogs must also have a microchip implanted and owners need to post signs around the property.
Regardless of the court's decision on how to label the dog, the injured man may be able to recover civil damages if it is determined that the dog owner failed to adequately warn of the dog.
Source: Toledo Blade, "Toledo woman contests warden's classification of Duke being 'dangerous dog'," Tanya Irwin, Nov. 7, 2012