Reich & Binstock
Free Initial Consultation Call

Liability of Undomesticated Animals

A large amount of people across the United States own dogs and cats. Owner's liability with domesticated animals is well understood. For example, If Fred has a dog, and his dog bites someone, Fred can be liable for his pet's harm to the victim if he "knows or has reason to know that the animal has dangerous propensities abnormal to its class." If Fred owns a miniature Yorkshire Terrier, it would be unlikely for Fred to know that such an animal would have "dangerous propensities abnormal" to Yorkshire Terriers, considering how small and timid those types of dogs can be.

However, it can be hard to prove whether the animal has dangerous propensities until it exhibits them. In other words, until Fred's dog bites someone, Fred will never truly know that his dog has the propensity to bite, or become abnormally aggressive. Historically speaking this was always a problem, and has been coined with the phrase, "every dog gets one free bite."

But what if Fred owned a Tiger, or a Lion escaped the Houston Zoo, and injured several people? Contrary to the domesticated animal standard above, the bar for presumptive liability is much lower for non-domesticated animals such as lions and tigers. In fact, liability would probably be fairly easy to prove. Even if an owner has exercised the "utmost care to confine the animal," the owner of a tiger, or lion would be liable for the damage they cause to real or personal property, or persons. This is known as strict liability, or liability without fault.

Interestingly, injuries caused by livestock share the same theory of liability as undomesticated animals, even if they do not exhibit any "dangerous propensities."

If you have been injured by any kind of animal, please contact Reich & Binstock today.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For a Free Legal Consultation There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Call for a Free Legal Consultation: 713-352-7883
Reich & Binstock - Pharmaceutical Injury & Class Action Lawyers

4265 San Felipe
Suite 1000
Houston, TX 77027

Toll Free: 877-643-3099
Phone: 713-352-7883
Fax: 713-623-8724
Houston Law Office Map