Pit Bull Task Force Resumes Meeting

An October 14 Washington Times article discusses the re-convening of a General Assembly task force to address a Maryland Court of Appeals holding that found pit bulls “inherently dangerous” and held both owners and their landlords strictly liable for any injuries caused by a pit bull.  The Court holding generated significant concern amongst dog owners, landlords,  and the General Assembly.  The task force previously tried to reach agreement on corrective legislation for the August Special Session but was unable to reach a consensus.  MACo will continue to work with the task force to ensure that counties are not subject to new liability based on any legislation proposed by the task force.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery County  Democrat and co-chairman of the task force, said the group is set to meet Oct.  25, with the goal “to try to finish what we started.”

“We think we can do better for victims and do better for dog owners than the  current law or the decisions by the Court of  Appeals,” he said. “We’re essentially trying to carve out a third way.”  …

In mid-August, a special legislative session was called to hash out a  gambling expansion bill. The Senate and House both passed different versions of  pit bull legislation, but the two chambers could not agree on a compromise. Both  bills died.

“We had meetings during the summer. We felt like we were prepared during the  special session,” said Sen. Joseph M.  Getty, Carroll Republican. “But with a three-day time frame in which to do  something, the sides became deadlocked, and when you try to make a decision in  three days, you’re probably making a bad decision.”

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