well the owner of the pittbull is suing me for negligence, and he wants the me to pay for his vet bill as well he is trying to get me to pay the sitting fee that he already gave me when he picked up his pittbull. I want to know if I am liable?
I own the austrailian shephard that is my dog I was petsitting for him. He has brought his dog to me twice. on the second time his dog was here his dog attacked my dog two days before the owners came home. when this gentleman came over to pick his dog up he told me his dog had been in two other fights previously before he even brought his dog to me. so he neglected to tell me his dog was dog aggressive. I have written notes from my clients and my dogs groomer that I am a responsible individual and my groomer vouches that my dog is not dog aggressive.
He wants me to pay 315 dollars the 200 for his pet sitting fee and the 115 for his vet bills
I already paid 322 dollars for my dogs vet bill and still have to go for a recall to make sure my dog has no internal injuries from when my dog was slammed on the by his dog.
his 200 dollar pet sitting fee doesn't even cover the vet bill. before i continue communicating with him i would like to get legal council.
ok well from what Information i have given you in your opinion and legal advice do you believe i am liable for his pet fees.
yes please let me know about any dog bite liabilities
I was watching a pitbull at my residence and the pittbull got in a fight with an australian shephard, now the owner of the pittbull wants to sue me for liability?
I own the austrailian shephard that is my dog I was petsitting for him. OK, so it sounds like you agreed to care for his dog, in a reasonable way. You indicate nothing to suggest that you breached that promise, or that you were negligent.
He has brought his dog to me twice. on the second time his dog was here his dog attacked my dog two days before the owners came home. So his dog did the attacking, it was not your dog that attacked. You could very well have a valid claim against him for YOUR vet bills. Virginia enjoys a one free bite rule, but in this case, the owner apparently already had his one free bite, since his dog has attacked before.
when this gentleman came over to pick his dog up he told me his dog had been in two other fights previously before he even brought his dog to me. so he neglected to tell me his dog was dog aggressive. Yes, that would arguably have been negligent on his part - he prevented you from the informed consent of what you were caring for AND the ability to make appropriate decisions. (I suspect he didn't tell you because he thought you'd refuse to babysit the dog.)
I have written notes from my clients and my dogs groomer that I am a responsible individual and my groomer vouches that my dog is not dog aggressive.Excellent, and there is presumably no documentation of any prior attacks (nor was this one an attack by your dog).
He wants me to pay 315 dollars the 200 for his pet sitting fee and the 115 for his vet bills. I do not see a legal theory under which, on these facts, he could win should he sue you. First, under contract theory, he agreed to pay you $200 for petsitting. You did the petsitting as promised. He has to pay the $200. Yes, he can try to argue that you didn't provide competent petsitting, ergo the dog fight, but under the facts you have described, and if it is proper in the dogsitting industry to have 2 dogs not known (by the petsitter) to be aggressive to other dogs to be allowed to be near each other - then he will not be able to prove you were negligent. Your dogsitting always entails your dog's presence, and no constant kenneling of a dog if it is not described to be violent. He did not divulge his dogs violence, so you could not have known about it, particularly when he'd been nonviolent the other time. I see no negligence here that he can prove on your part. He, on the other hand, could be seen as negligent because he knew or should have known that he SHOULD have advised you of his dog's history of attack/biting.
I already paid 322 dollars for my dogs vet bill and still have to go for a recall to make sure my dog has no internal injuries from when my dog was slammed on the by his dog. Have you considered making a demand on him for this cost? If nothing else, it may make him think twice about suing you - because if he did, you would presumably counterclaim for your damages, in addition to denying liablity for his damages. He would likely not only lose his case, but have to opay you $322 plus.
his 200 dollar pet sitting fee doesn't even cover the vet bill. before i continue communicating with him i would like to get legal council. Legal counsel may cost you more than your vet bills, but certainly read up on VA's dog liability laws. See here specifically: DANGEROUS URL REMOVED?000+cod+3.2-6540
You will also want to see if your munipality or county has any local dog laws.
Now, remember, he may be trying to go after you for you dog bite responsibilties, but since his dog attacked your dog, AND his dog has a history, it would appear that he would have some difficulty proving you were negligent in the handling of your dog, thereby causing the bite. However, he can also try to go under the theory of breach of contract - that you were negligent in your bailment or dogsitting duties. However, again, you will point out that based on what he hired you for and what information he provided (and as importantly, what he knowingly concealed, which was very dangerous), you did your job perfectly - it is he who caused the fight, in reality.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).