Dog bite lawsuit names landlord, maintenance man as defendants

It may be tough to blame a dog for biting someone in Chicago, as the animal is likely only acting upon its natural instincts. For this reason, dog owners are deemed to be responsible when their pets attack others. The basis for most dog bite claims is that an owner should know their animal well enough to understand if it has aggressive tendencies (and if it does, an owner should not allow it to be around others). Yet could there also be circumstances where liability could also be placed on someone other than the owner. 

There may be, yet said third party's liability would likely be do something else. For example, a Missouri mother recently filed a lawsuit after her son was attacked by a dog belonging to the maintenance man of the property where she lived. She claims that he brought the dog with him to work one day, and allowed it to roam free while he was doing repairs. The dog ultimately attacked her son. In her lawsuit, she argues that the maintenance man should have known that the animal could be violent, and that his failure to restrain the animal was negligent. 

However, she has named the property's landlord as a defendant in the lawsuit, saying that as the maintenance man was acting as his agent at the time, he is also responsible. The legal principle of respondeat superior allows liability to be assigned to employers for the negligent actions of their employees. Thus, people in cases like the one detailed above might find that there are multiple parties to which liability can be assigned. Those needing assistance in initiating legal action may find it in the form of an attorney. 

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