Bashang v. Pisano

NASSAU COUNTY
Torts

New York Law Journal

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Justice F. Dana Winslow

Limousine driver Bashang sued to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly suffered when Pisano's Labrador allegedly jumped on Bashang's back and caused him to fall. He claimed he did not hear the dog growling before the incident, although he heard barking. Bashang alleged he was walking back to the car, felt a heavy "pushing sensation" from behind and something on his shoulder, then fell forward. The complaint alleged Pisano knew or should have known the dog had ferocious propensities. Pisano's friend, Skyrme, who was in the limo on the subject date, testified he did not see how Bashang fell, but when he heard the noise, the dog was nearly "12 meters" from Bashang. Skyrme also noted the dog was old and slow and has never been menacing or aggressive. The court found Pisano made a prima facie showing of a lack of vicious propensities on the dog's part, concluding Bashang failed to raise an issue of fact regarding the dog's known proclivity for behavior that posed a risk of harm. Also, pursuant to Skyrme's testimony, the dog would not rise up to greet him spontaneously, but in response to encouragement, and only to his waist. Hence, there was no evidence the dog had a propensity for "enthusiastic jumping up on visitors," granting Pisano dismissal.

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