Dog owner asks bite case to be dismissed

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 22, 2008, 9:40am

Circuit Judge Daniel Stack

A man accused of letting his dog bite a friend at his house wants Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack to dismiss the case.

Jerrett Scott filed the motion to dismiss the dog bite suit pursuant to Section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure on July 14. He is represented by David Hesi of St. Louis.

James Luebbert filed the case May 30, alleging he was at Scott's Bethalto home on June 2, 2007, when he was attacked by Scott's dog.

According to Luebbert, he was lawfully on Scott's property and was conducting himself in a peaceful matter when the dog allegedly attacked him.

He claims the dog bite caused him to suffer injuries to his lower right leg. He claims he has and will continue to incur medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and a disability.

But, according to the motion to dismiss, Scott claims Luebbert's complaint attempts to pleas a strict liability remedy when there are no allegations of negligence and no statutory references.

"To recover under the general common law for such an attack, the plaintiff must show that the animal had a dangerous propensity to commit such an injury and that the owner had actual knowledge of that propensity," the motion states.

Scott claims that since Luebbert's complaint fails to allege the necessary elements, he fails to state a cause of action for which relief can be granted.

He asks Stack to dismiss the complaint and asks for "additional or different relief as the court deems just."

Scott also asks for a trial by jury if Stack decides not to dismiss the complaint.

Luebbert is represented by Steve Selby of Alton. He is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

Stack has yet to set a hearing date for the motion.

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