Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Pit Bull Owners and Landlords Accountable After an Attack
Baltimore, MD – In January, DogsBite.org announced our filing of an amicus brief in a landmark Maryland appeals case, Tracey v. Solesky, in hopes of expanding more liability out to landlords when a tenant’s pit bull attacks. The case involves the parents of a young boy seeking damages for injuries inflicted by a pit bull owned by a landlord’s tenant. Also at issue is the “dangerousness” of pit bulls being “well-recognized,” as determined in the 1998 case, Matthews v. Amberwood.
In Matthews, the Court of Appeals of Maryland ruled in a 4-3 vote that the landlord could have taken steps to abate the danger of a pit bull kept by a tenant when the landlord knew of the dog’s presence and was aware of the dog’s dangerousness. It was our hope that the Solesky opinion would expand Matthews further. On April 26, 2012, the Court of Appeals, in another 4-3 vote, did expand it and with great clarity by attaching strict liability when a pit bull or pit bull-cross attacks.