General Assembly to Consider Pit Bull Legislation in Special Session

A July 3 Daily Record AP article indicates that the General Assembly will consider legislation to address pit bull during the upcoming special session.  As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that pit bulls and pit bulls mixes were “inherently dangerous” and that dog owners and their landlords would be automatically held liable if a pit bull or pit bull mix injured someone, even if the dog had no prior history.  While many other states hold dog owners strictly liable for the actions of their dogs, no state singles out a specific dog breed or applies a strict liability standard to landlords.

In response to the holding, the General Assembly formed a task force to study the issue and prepare legislation to address the issue.  According to the article, the proposed legislation will apply a strict liability standard to all dog owners but not to landlords:

Del. Curt Anderson, a co-chairman of a task force that has examined the ruling, said Friday that the bill will seek to remove landlord liability for dog bites. Instead, the measure will seek to put liability for bites by any type of dog on their owners.

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