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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Out of State Claim

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Tennessee.

    I live in Georgia and was invited by a friend to attend a fireworks party at a her condo in Tennessee. After the fireworks and returning inside to the condo, I got on the elevator with my dog. The dog was leashed, in a training collar, and in a sit command position in the corner of the elevator.

    On the first floor, the door opened and a woman entered and reached down to my dog who in turn, nipped her hand. The woman did not ask permission to approach the dog and in fact, grinned her teeth at the dog which is a no no with dogs.

    Regardless, the woman asked that I supply vet data to the local animal control officer, which I did (showing that there was no evidence of rabies). I also agreed to a voluntary quarantine for 10 days which the dog passed. The animal control officer who inspected my dog told me the dog didn't do anything wrong and that most people do not know how to deal with unfamiliar animals. (She said you are supposed to let them smell you and not to do anything to invade their space until they do so.)

    Still, I learned this week that the woman is pursing legal action against me by filing a claim in a TN court. I do no live in TN. I have no assets in TN. Apparently, she is seeking reimbursement of her medical insurance deductible which is $1,000. I don't feel like I should pay her because there would be no incident except for her actions.

    Do I have to respond to her claim? (I haven't received it, I just heard about it.) Do I need to get an attorney? I mean ... I'll spend more traveling back and forth than the whole affair is worth.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,663

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting VFLRob
    View Post
    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Tennessee.

    I live in Georgia and was invited by a friend to attend a fireworks party at a her condo in Tennessee. After the fireworks and returning inside to the condo, I got on the elevator with my dog. The dog was leashed, in a training collar, and in a sit command position in the corner of the elevator.

    On the first floor, the door opened and a woman entered and reached down to my dog who in turn, nipped her hand. The woman did not ask permission to approach the dog and in fact, grinned her teeth at the dog which is a no no with dogs.

    Regardless, the woman asked that I supply vet data to the local animal control officer, which I did (showing that there was no evidence of rabies). I also agreed to a voluntary quarantine for 10 days which the dog passed. The animal control officer who inspected my dog told me the dog didn't do anything wrong and that most people do not know how to deal with unfamiliar animals. (She said you are supposed to let them smell you and not to do anything to invade their space until they do so.)

    Still, I learned this week that the woman is pursing legal action against me by filing a claim in a TN court. I do no live in TN. I have no assets in TN. Apparently, she is seeking reimbursement of her medical insurance deductible which is $1,000. I don't feel like I should pay her because there would be no incident except for her actions.

    Do I have to respond to her claim? (I haven't received it, I just heard about it.) Do I need to get an attorney? I mean ... I'll spend more traveling back and forth than the whole affair is worth.

    Any thoughts?
    How serious was the bite? $1000.00 sounds like a lot for a simple bite...and for that to only be the deductible on the cost seems even worse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    How serious was the bite? $1000.00 sounds like a lot for a simple bite...and for that to only be the deductible on the cost seems even worse.
    I was there. I never saw any blood or anything. I was stunned to hear she filed a claim given the dog is healthy. Apparently the $1000 is her insurance deductible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,453

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting VFLRob
    View Post
    Do I have to respond to her claim? (I haven't received it, I just heard about it.) Do I need to get an attorney? I mean ... I'll spend more traveling back and forth than the whole affair is worth.

    Any thoughts?
    If you haven't received service of the suit then you don't have to respond until you do. And if and when you receive service and you don't respond, it is likely she would get a default judgment. So you have to respond.

    It is likely a small claims suit for that amount. Attorneys are not permitted in small claims court so getting an attorney is not going to do you any good at this point except perhaps to advise you how to proceed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,103

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    The woman did not ask permission to approach the dog and in fact, grinned her teeth at the dog which is a no no with dogs.

    That's the best defense you've got?

    Good luck. You're going to need it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,082

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    The woman did not ask permission to approach the dog and in fact, grinned her teeth at the dog which is a no no with dogs.

    That's the best defense you've got?

    Good luck. You're going to need it.
    I agree.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting Mercy&Grace
    View Post
    I agree.
    Need it for what? The dog was invited to the property and she provoked the dog. I do t know TN law, but in GA, she has no case.

    Regardless, I havenít been served. Do I need to seek her out because I heard she is taking action or just wait? Is TN judgement enforceable in GA?

    I tried to retain a lawyer and he just laughed and said itís not worth representing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,103

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    You do not need to do anything until you are actually served.

    You will need good luck because if all she did was reach down to potentially pet him and the dog broke the Sit order to bite her, you are the one at fault and not she.

    grinned her teeth at the dog which is a no no with dogs.

    Some dogs. Not all. Not by any measure all.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,212

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Quote Quoting VFLRob
    View Post


    Do I have to respond to her claim? (I haven't received it, I just heard about it.) Do I need to get an attorney? I mean ... I'll spend more traveling back and forth than the whole affair is worth.

    Any thoughts?
    Do you have homeowners or renters insurance? If yes, report this to your insurance company and let the professionals handle it. It's why you pay for insurance.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Out of State Claim

    Yes. I have renters insurance.

    Iíll refer it to them. But they havenít served me or if they have, itís to an old address. Do I need to help them?

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