2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 22-357. Damage to person or property.

      Sec. 22-357. Damage to person or property. If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or, if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time the damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3404; 1953, S. 1842d; 1969, P.A. 439, S. 1.)

      History: 1969 act added provision re actions brought on behalf of minors.

      Administrator as "owner". 74 C 85. Necessity of counting on statute. 77 C. 570. That person injured provoked dog as a defense under former statute. 81 C. 321. Action is one in tort. 86 C. 710. Cited. 102 C. 480. Statute held constitutional; elements of damage. 105 C. 89. Scope of exception. 106 C. 202. Negligence in operation of automobile not a "tort" within exception. 107 C. 626. Owner of dog held liable where dog jumped in front of automobile causing it to swerve into ditch and overturn. Id. Cited. 91 C. 492. Complaint should negative the existence of circumstances which would bring plaintiff within the exception. 117 C. 107. Defendant who pleaded an affirmation of the exception assumed burden of proof thereof. Id., 103. "Trespass or tort" construed. Id., 310. Conduct not within the exceptions, although it might be held contributorily negligent, is not a defense under the statute. Id. Cited. 119 C. 648. Wife, co-owner, liable with husband who thrust dog toward plaintiff's face. 129 C. 210. "Trespass or tort" means more than mere entry; statute bars recovery where plaintiff is committing or intends to commit an injurious act. 133 C. 509: 140 C. 358. See note to Sec. 22-327. Plaintiff may recover where menacing attitude of dog frightened him and caused him to fall. 138 C. 718. Friendly playing with a dog is not "teasing, tormenting or abusing". 142 C. 516. A plaintiff must bring himself clearly within the provisions because it creates a cause of action that did not exist at common law. 142 C. 719. Phrase "trespass or other tort" interpreted. 148 C. 125. That the plaintiff was on a public highway did not eliminate the possibility that she was committing a trespass within the meaning of the statute. Id. Plaintiff restrained dog with a leash from attacking another dog and from leaving the premises of its master, all in accordance with the wishes of its master; held that this did not come within the exceptions from liability under this statute. 148 C. 557. History of statute reviewed. Id. Cited. 221 C. 14-21, 23, 26. Cited. 231 C. 920. Doctrine of parental immunity bars action by unemancipated minor against parent alleging strict liability pursuant to statute; doctrine of parental immunity discussed. 234 C. 259-262, 264, 266, 267, 270, 271. Cited. 235 C. 360, 389; see also 40 CA 219 et seq. Cited. 241 C. 319.

      Cited. 7 CA 19-22. Cited. 9 CA 495-497. Action under section barred by parental immunity doctrine. 34 CA 866- 868, 870. Cited. 42 CA 239. Absent specific language in Sec. 52-557n modifying common law rule of governmental immunity for claims of strict liability, section should not be so construed. 58 CA 702.

      Owner and keeper of dog liable in the alternative and not jointly. 5 CS 150. Trespass does not include technical or casual trespass. Id., 426; 18 CS 156. Controlled by three year tort statute of limitations. 14 CS 428. Assumption of risk has no place in an action brought under this section. But plaintiff must prove either that her own conduct was not such as would naturally incite the dog to retaliation or that it was, under the circumstances, justified. 22 CS 332. Cited. 25 CS 341. When a cause of action arises in a child for personal injuries under this section, an independent cause of action arises in his parent for consequential damages as a result of the injury. 26 CS 274, 275. But parent's right may be barred by conduct of his own which in whole or in part caused the damage. Id. Applicable statute of limitation is section 52-577. 26 CS 294, 296. Statute of limitation under the dog bite law is three years. 29 CS 71. Cited. 29 CS 72. Owners of premises where dog was kept considered "keepers" and held to be liable. 36 CS 156, 157.

      Where plaintiff alleged, in her complaint, negligence and scienter on the part of the dog's owners, held that, notwithstanding plaintiff's claim of defendants' statutory liability, the action was one in negligence at common law and not under this statute. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 539. History discussed. Id., 541, 542. Petting of dog does not constitute teasing, tormenting or abusing dog. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 694.

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