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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33103
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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i live with two roomates who both have girlfriends that have

Customer Question

i live with two roomates who both have girlfriends that have one infant each.I also own a labrador dog.she is very well trained and well behaved. But she has shown signs of agressive behavior twords smaller animals and infants if they get to close to her. because of this i have made it a strict policy that if there is a child or small animal in the house and if im not there to do so to please put my dog into my room and shut the door. i remind them of this everytime i leave (i really do).
two days ago as i was away from the house i was alerted that my dog bit the 8 month old girl. when i got home i was informed that she was taken to the hospital where she had eight stitches put under her chin close to her neck.
i have had many conflicting reports but this is what i can best come up with. the eight month old girl somehow wandered into my room where my dog was sleeping and she got bit. nobody saw the incident. nobody was aware where she was at the time. they were alerted to her crying and found her a couple steps in my room they said my dog barked also.
i really dont think i am getting the true story but since she my dog has shown signs of past agression, i can only assume that thats really what happened.
relieved that the child is ok and now dealing with the county(proved that shots are current) i guess my question now is, what am i responsible for?
thank you for any advice,
Jase in az
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an Arizona attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You, as the owner, are responsible for any injuries sufferd by the child, regardless of your policy.

That is, you will have to pay the medical bills...and if you refuse, they could take you to court and the court would order you to pay.

Under AZ law, you are liable for the damage done by your dog under the circumstances you describe.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
what if the dog was provoked by the unattended child?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
Your fault. Under AZ law provocation is not a defense...not for a person who is legally in the home.

If this was a trespasser, the result would different

But this was a guest in the home...there is no such thing as provocation in that case under AZ law.

You are on the hook here

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
can you explain ARS § 11-1027 to me?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: would like to know if there is any defense at all either by proving neglegence from the parent or homeowner(her boyfriend), and or explaination of

§ 11-1027. Reasonable provocation as defense

Proof of provocation of the attack by the person injured shall be a defense to the action for damages. The issue of provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog. thank you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
would like to know if there is any defense at all either by proving neglegence from the parent or homeowner(her boyfriend), and or explaination of
§ 11-1027. Reasonable provocation as defense
Proof of provocation of the attack by the person injured shall be a defense to the action for damages. The issue of provocation shall be determined by whether a reasonable person would expect that the conduct or circumstances would be likely to provoke a dog. thank you
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 4 years ago.
There is no defense. Not one that would prevail at trial.

You are talking about a toddler! That statute will not apply.

Sorry.