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West Virginia man files suit against property owner

Many people in the Charleston area have dogs that they love and adore just like any other member of their family. But owning a dog comes with responsibility, not just for taking care of it, but also making sure that the dog doesn't endanger anyone else. Even the kindest dogs can act out and bite people under certain circumstances. When this happens, the dog owner will usually bear responsibility for any damages suffered by the victim of the biting dog.

Recently, a man in nearby Winfield filed a lawsuit against the owner of a dog that he claims bit his daughter and caused her serious injury. The man's legal complaint states that the girl suffered bites to hear head and face, which caused bleeding, and that she had to go to the hospital for treatment. The complaint also alleged that the injuries might require the man's daughter to get medical care for her sinuses, as well as plastic surgery. The man is asking for both compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit.

Like other premises liability lawsuits, this one asserts that the dog owner should have done something to his property to prevent the incident. The dad's lawsuit alleges that the dog owner knew that his dog had a history of attacks and that he should have secured his property so that the dog could not hurt anyone in the area.

Dogs can be wonderful pets, but under West Virginia law, the owner has an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening. Similar to other unnecessarily dangerous property conditions, the owner cannot just leave a potentially dangerous dog on the property with no restraints or fence to keep the dog from attacking people on or near the property.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Man sues individual for daughter's injuries from dog bite," Kyla Asbury, April 20, 2015

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