You May be Shocked to Learn That… if your dog bites someone else you might owe triple damages.
Brutus was a rescue dog that was not well socialized, neither with other dogs nor humans, especially small children.
In fact, he had lunged and snapped aggressively at a small boy just a couple of months ago. Fortunately, no injuries occurred that time, but a few weeks later Brutus snapped at another little girl at the park, this time breaking the skin and scaring the child and her mother.
The parent filed a complaint with the town, which now required Brutus to wear a muzzle whenever he went out to public places. The owner seldom put the muzzle on and on their next walk, Brutus—not wearing his muzzle—viciously attacked another small child causing severe injuries, both physical and psychological. Medical bills, psychiatric bills, and ongoing emotional pain and suffering were all things the jury took into consideration when awarding damages to the victim in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The dog’s owner was shocked to discover that in Massachusetts, if your dog attacks another person, and your dog was the subject of an earlier “restraining order” (for example, to always be leashed or muzzled) and is deemed responsible for the injuries or death of another person, any amount that a jury awards against may be tripled.
(M.G.L.A. c. 140 Section 159)