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THE NATION

Court Tells a Bitten Dog Groomer in Kentucky It Comes With the Job

July 13, 2002|From Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Dog groomers beware: If the chow chomps, it's all part of the job, a court decided Friday.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling, which upheld a lower court decision, came in the case of dog groomer Kathy Jordan, who got bitten in the face by a chow and filed a lawsuit against its owner, Kevin Lusby.

The three-judge panel decided Jordan never presented any evidence Lusby specifically knew his dog was vicious.

"When Jordan accepted the dog for grooming, she assumed the risk of being bitten by the dog," Judge Julia Tackett wrote.

The judges did agree with Jordan that a dog owner is liable for its actions, but decided Jordan was the owner while she had the chow in her care.

"Owner in this case does not simply mean a person with a property interest in the dog," Tackett wrote. "The statute does not make a distinction between the legal owner or a second party owner; we see no reason to create one here."

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