Outside Counsel

'On Constraint', the 'Vicious Propensities' Rule Continues

, New York Law Journal


George M. Heymann writes: How often have trial judges been confronted with a rule of law that seems out of touch with the realities of the facts before them but are "constrained" to abide by it because of appellate court decisions. One such situation is the ongoing debate regarding the strict liability "vicious propensities" rule with respect to injuries caused by domestic animals, as a direct result of the owner's conduct, which prohibits recovery on the theory of negligence.

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