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Woman jogger injured in reacting to loose Rottweiler cannot sue the owners

Kathleen Kinney sued the owners of a Rottweiler after it bounded up to Ms. Kinney and threw its paws on her shoulders.  The action knocked Kinney backwards, however, her jogging partner husband caught her before she struck the ground.  The dog and its pupply then "circled" the Kinneys but did not attack further or bite them.  Nevertheless, Ms. Kinney argued that the large animal scratched her, aggravated a pre-existing back problem and scared her enough to cause some emotional problems.

Ms. Kinney brought a legal action against the owners which was summarily dismissed.  Two Republican insurance-friendly Court of Appeals judges affirmed this outcome and held that that owners of dogs owe "no duty to keep them under constant control" and that since the dog "merely 'jumped' up on the [Plaintiff's] shoulders," Ms. Kinney had no legal claim for her injuries.  She would need to show that the dog had already displayed a propensity to vicious behavior in order to recover for her injuries.

Judge Kathleen Jansen, the presiding judge, dissented from the majority's opinion, pointing out that under traditional Michigan law, this case should not have been summarily dismissed.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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