Friday, January 1, 2010

"Vicarious liability" for conduct of a dog?

If you live in Wisconsin and allow someone with a dog to live with you, you may well be liable for the dog's bite. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held recently that the homeowner was the "harborer" or "keeper" of the dog (as those terms are used in a specific statute) and for that reason reversed a summary judgment that had been entered in his favor by the lower court. The opinion is available here. This sounds a little bit like vicarious liability because it looks like the possible liability is based on the relationship between the defendant (homeowner) and the owner of the dog, rather than on the ownership of the dog. Thanks to the Legal Profession Blog for the information.

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