Posted by Susan J. Levy
Under current Georgia law, in order for an injured person to recover in a dog bite case, they must show not only that the dog had vicious propensities, but that the owner knew or should have known of those propensities, and that the injured person had no such knowledge. “Although this traditionally has been described as Georgia’s ‘first bite rule,’ the rule does not literally require a first bite. Instead, the true test of liability is the owner’s superior knowledge of his dog’s temperament. (Citation and punctuation omitted.)” Custer v. Coward, 293 Ga. App. 316, 318-319 (2008). In the recent case of Brock v. Harris, 2011 Ga. App. LEXIS 986, Plaintiff’s failure to demonstrate the owner’s knowledge of prior aggression by the dog resulted in summary judgment for the Defendant dog owner.