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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, June 10, 2019

Support Dog Bite Cases on Airlines

Are airlines responsible when a support dog bites a passenger?

New York City personal injury attorneys may have noticed an uptick in lawsuits involving so-called “emotional support” animals in recent years due to what appears to be increasing cases of untrained animals being passed off as formally-trained and certified ones-- then biting or otherwise injuring people.

Historically, service animals like guide dogs for the blind and other service companions have gone through a lengthy, rigorous training program by professional agencies in order to properly and safely help their designated disabled person through the various situations a person may encounter in everyday life – – including air travel.

Unfortunately, the headlines are now full of people who have been injured by pets of those who claim their animals are emotional support dogs when they may not have had the proper – – or any – – formal training. This can obviously put the public at risk for dog bite injuries.

A military veteran’s emotional “support dog” reportedly attacked a passenger seated beside it on a Delta flight while the flight was boarding. The large dog allegedly growled while the victim fastened his seatbelt and then attacked him--repeatedly biting the victim’s face, and then resuming the attack after being pulled away. The victim, who was pinned in his window seat has reportedly sued the airline to recover damages for his “severe physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish”. It was not known what, if any, training the animal had been given.

The victim claims the airline failed to “properly vet the dangerous dog before letting it on the plane” and failed to warn the planes passengers of the dangers of having “large, untrained and unrestrained animals in the cabin” of a passenger plane. The victim claims the airline was negligent and that the potential danger was foreseeable.

To recover in a personal injury lawsuit, the victim must establish that the defendant was liable for their injuries. If the defendant’s actions or inactions were negligent, reckless, or intentional, and caused serious injuries to someone else, the victim may recover damages for such things as their current and future medical expenses, current and future lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Sometimes punitive damages are also awarded depending on the particular circumstances.

Contact our NYC dog bite attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured or loved has been killed due to someone else’s negligence, The Goldstein Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


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