On Monday, a family friend of the Obamas was visiting the White House when she was bitten in the face by Sunny, one of President Obama’s two adopted dogs. The bite was out of character for the four year old Portuguese Water Dog, a breed which is considered to be great for family households. While the visiting 18-year-old girl bent down to kiss the dog on the cheek, Sunny unexpectedly lashed out and left a small wound that required stitches from the White House doctor.
Many states stipulate that dog owners can only be held liable for a dog bite injury if they knew the dog was capable of behaving in a way that is likely to cause harm. The dog bite suffered by the family friend was irregular, as Portuguese Water Dogs do not generally exhibit intimidating or aggressive behavior. Although the bite resulted in a facial injury, the lack of knowledge by the White House and the Obamas that Sunny would react in a hostile way means that the incident is unlikely to constitute negligence.
Nevertheless, this goes to show that dogs can be unpredictable and may unexpectedly attack. Not all dog bite cases are as benign as this one was, and sometimes dog attacks can lead to hospitalization. The Providence dog bite injury attorneys at Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. are well versed in dog bite cases and can guide you through the legal process of determining liability if you’ve been hurt by someone else’s dog. Do not hesitate to contact our Rhode Island offices at (401) 751-8855.