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Premises Liability

A 48 year old man, working as an independent contractor on a local Newport estate, was struck by a playful, large dog as he was walking up the driveway of the estate to get to an area he was to paint. The dog was owned by the employee and general manager of the estate. The painter that was injured was an independent contractor working for the estate. Suit was filed against the dog owner and the owner of the estate. This was not a vicious dog attack but simply a very playful, large dog that blindsided the painter, who did not see the dog, knocking the painter to the ground and causing him to suffer patellar tendon rupture necessitating surgery on his knee. Legal issues in the case were, under Rhode Island law, whether or not the dog was in his enclosure when the incident happened. If it were to be ruled that the dog was in his enclosure when the incident occurred then there would be no liability on the dog owner as the dog did not have a history of causing any problems. Because the dog was registered in Providence, where the owner lived, and because the owner would live part-time on the estate and have the dog with him with the owner's permission, the dispute arose as to whether or not the dog was in his enclosure. Suit was also filed against the estate for not providing a safe work place to the independent contractor painter. The estate then looked to the dog owner for indemnification if it were forced to pay.

After multiple depositions the case was settled for $125,000.00

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