“Things I Never Knew Until Now”

Court Finds Duty to Defend Dog

Usually, when a dog injures a person, that person sues the dog’s owners.  Sometimes, there is a question under the policy whether the insurer for the owner is required to defend and indemnify.  There isn’t much leeway in the whole process. Or so we thought. A recent decision out of North Dakota throws a wrench in the traditional dog injury case.  In Morrison v. Sioux Falls Mutual, No. 2014-2469 (So. Central Dist. Ct., N.D. Mar. 23, 2015), the Plaintiff, rather than sue the dog’s owners, sued the dog directly. Inherent in this are coverage questions which were raised by the insurer.  The dog’s owners sued their carrier, and the Court determined that the insurer had a duty to defend the dog. While the issue might seem farcical at first, the Court followed well-established law in reaching its decision.  For more,  http://coverageopinions.info/Vol4Issue4/RandySpencer.html