The litigation team at Conway Stoughton LLC has scored another victory in defending an insured from an aggrieved plaintiff. In their most recent success, Attorneys Renee Dwyer and Chris Williams argued the applicability of the “teasing, tormenting, or abusing” exception to the dog bite statute.

In Connecticut the owners and keepers of animals are strictly liable for any damage caused by those animals per Connecticut General Statute § 22-357. Despite this rigorous standard, Attorneys Dwyer and Williams were able to argue that the plaintiff, in breaking up a fight between two dogs, was acting in such a way that “would naturally antagonize the dog and cause it to attack.” Although this is an exception to the strict liability imposed by statute, it has never been applied in this factual context. Our litigation attorneys were able to successfully defeat the plaintiff’s liability claims. Despite the defense making a reasonable offer during mediation in response to a $300,000 demand, the offer was not accepted by the plaintiff. The jury ultimately ruled for the defense. The plaintiff’s motion to set aside the jury verdict was denied and the case is being appealed.