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Leav and Steinberg Team

Dogs: Man’s best friend for sure; but when injured must do appropriate investigation to prove the prior vicious propensity.

Dogs, some say they are man’s best friend. In New York City, this is more than just an expression. People here love to have their trusty companions by their side at all times. Dogs are brought along to Saturday brunches, trips to the book store, and even on the subway.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there are approximately 85,085 dogs with active licenses living in New York City. The Department also reports that only about 20% of dogs are actually registered with the department.  

With such a large population of dogs living in NYC, a run-in with an aggressive dog is more than likely. In response to this, and in order to protect tenants, many building owners and associations have requirements for tenants to register their dogs with them.

Recent court opinions set forth strict parameters that must be met in order for the building owner to be held responsible for a person’s injuries sustained in a dog attack. Specifically, in cases were the attack occurred on New York City Housing Authority grounds, the court requires proof that NYCHA had notice of the dog’s vicious propensity.

Leav & Steinberg recently took on a case of a woman who lives in a New York City Housing complex. This woman had a run-in with a vicious dog while walking into her building. She was severely bitten on her arm during the attack.

While many law firms would consider this type of case unattractive due to the difficulties in establishing liability for building owners, Leav & Steinberg took on the case.  Through vigorous investigative work conducted by associate, Liana Cotto, not only was the firm able to obtain documents that indicate this specific dog had been reported to live in the NYCHA community, but also that the dog attacked another person a few months before attacking this new client.

Once again, Leav & Steinberg took on a case that many firms would not, and through extensive investigation, will be able to successfully get compensation for the client that she deserves.