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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Kim Richards, must pay a friend thousands of dollars in compensation for a dog bite.
Early last year, Kim Richard's friend Kay Rozario was visiting at Richards' house. According to Rozario, Richards' dog Kinglsey, without provocation, attacked Rozario. The 80-year-old victim suffered wounds to her left hand and right arm.
Rozario sued for more than a million dollars, claiming that Richards refused to pay her medical bills. A judge has ruled in Rozario's favor but only awarded her $4,083.53 for medical bills and $4,000 for emotional distress and trauma.
Dog Bite Laws
Some states, including Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Texas, adhere to the "one bite rule." These states hold owners liable if they knew or should have known of their dogs' dangerous propensities. This has been interpreted to allow owners a free pass for the first time that a dog bites somebody because they did not know beforehand of the dog's dangerous tendencies. However, once a dog has bitten somebody, the owners are on notice that they can be liable for the next bite.
Other states, such as California, Washington, Oklahoma, and Florida, have strict liability laws. This means dog owners are liable for all dog bite injuries regardless of knowledge or fault. To win damages a victim need only prove that she was bitten. She does not need to prove that the owner was negligent or had knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities.
In addition to the fines, could Richards be required to have Kingston put down?
According to California Food and Agriculture Code, Kingston could be categorized as a vicious dog. The statute states, a vicious dog is "any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being."
Rozario wasn't Kingston's only victim. Kingston also recently attacked Richards' niece, who then required surgery and extensive rehab.
While it is not unheard of for aggressive or vicious dogs to be put down by court order after an attack, there are no reports of such an order for Kingston yet.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.