The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a boy who spent four days in the hospital after having his leg ripped up by a neighbor's pit bull can make his case to a jury that his landlord was partially to blame.
A lower-court judge had thrown out Killian Nutt's lawsuit against his Waltham landlord, Emil Florio, saying there was no proof Florio had any reason to believe Tiny the pit bull had any dangerous tendencies before leaping onto him one day in 2005 and biting his leg repeatedly - despite repeated requests from Nutt's parents to do something about Tiny. The judge ruled the family was merely being "subjective" in its requests and the dog "simply acted as dogs do naturally," at least, before the attack.
The appeals court, however, overturned that summary judgment, saying it saw enough evidence to warrant letting a jury decide:
Prior to the incident, the plaintiff's father, Lawrence Nutt, and his mother, Elise Hamblett, observed that Tiny exhibited aggressive behavior. They called the defendants on several occasions to complain about the presence of dogs at the premises, most notably Tiny. They complained that Tiny generally ran around unleashed and aggressive, causing them to have safety concerns; and that Tiny mounted their children at various times and Hamblett on another occasion.