Back in 2008, Julie Augsburger was visiting Janet Veith at the Veith family home when she was attacked by the family’s dogs. Following the incident, Ms. Augsburger sued Ms. Veith, and her father George Kontos, under Wisconsin’s dog bite statute. Even though Mr. Kontos did not live on the property, Ms. Augsburger claimed he was liable because he purchased the home for his daughter’s family and allowed the dogs to be on the property. The Wisconsin dog bite statute places strict liability for anyone who owns, harbors or keeps a dog that then bites someone. Ms. Augsburger claimed that, by allowing the dogs to remain on the property, Mr. Kontos harbored the dogs and was therefore liable under the dog bite statute. The trial court ruled in favor of Ms. Augsburger, and the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed the trial court ruling. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin will now consider the case to decide whether a property owner can be liable for dog bites caused by dogs that the property owner does not own.
The Wisconsin dog bite injury lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran have helped many people who have been attacked by dogs. If you or someone you know has been attacked or bitten by a dog, contact us for a free online case evaluation.