Dog Bite Liability Measure Fails

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A measure to change a court ruling that designated pit bulls as an “inherently dangerous” breed has died in the Maryland General Assembly.

The bill, which received unanimous approval from the Senate on Monday, stalled in the House of Delegates.

The measure would have required all dog owners to prove by clear and convincing evidence they had no prior knowledge that their dog was prone to biting for victims ages 12-years-old and younger. For older victims, owners would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they had no knowledge their dog was prone to biting, a lesser standard.

Lawmakers sought to change a court ruling last year that made pit bull owners and landlords strictly liable for bites without previous evidence of a dog being dangerous.

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