- Ag Docket
The plaintiff agreed was watching a couple's dog while they were away from home for a few days. While caring for the dog, a "Chow," the plaintiff bent over to give the dog a biscuit and the dog bit off the plaintiff's lower lip. The plaintiff underwent reconstructive surgery to repair her lip. The couple had a homeowner's policy with the defendant that provided coverage that the insured was legally obligated for, but excluded coverage for bodily injury to "any insured" under the policy. An insured under the policy included any person that had custody of any animal that the person was "legally responsible for." The plaintiff filed a claim with the defendant for her injuries from the dog bite, bu the defendant refused coverage on the grounds that the plaintiff was "legally responsible" for the dog and, as a result, the plaintiff was an "insured" excluded from coverage under the policy. The defendant moved for summary judgment and the trial court agreed. On appeal, the court affirmed. The appellate court determined that the plaintiff was "legally responsible" for the dog because she had custody, control or possession of the dog that obligated her to exercise care to prevent third parties from incurring unreasonable risks of harm from the dog. Van Kleek v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. S-13-1006, 2014 Neb. LEXIS 195 (Neb. Sup. Ct. Dec. 19, 2014).
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