Pit Bull Task Force Meets, Discusses Liability Issues

As reported by the Washington Examiner, a Task Force appointed by the General Assembly 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, met on October 25 to continue discussing legislation for the upcoming session.

With six of its 10 members present, the group discussed the differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill to remove breed specificity from dog attack liability. The task force will meet again before the next session begins in January, or during its first week.

“I don’t think we yet have a formulation that’s acceptable to a majority of the task force,” said Sen. Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery County and the group’s co-chairman. “That’s what we obviously want to try to achieve so we can get something passed smoothly in the regular session.”

The General Assembly couldn’t reach a compromise on the dog liability bill during a special session in August. The Senate’s version held dog owners liable for a bite unless the animal was provoked, while the House version used such strict liability only in cases where the dog was “at large” or loose.

Members of the group are optimistic that the Task Force could come to a consensus.

Previous coverage of this issue can be found on Conduit Street.

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