Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I'm embarrassed to be a lawyer

I copied this Overlawyered post in its entirety:

'My 'Beware of Dog' signs came down years ago, after I interviewed an attorney who made a good piece of his living suing on behalf of dog-bite victims. Keeping a dog who is known to be vicious is a far more serious issue than having one who has never been a problem before. Putting up a 'Beware of Dog' sign, the attorney said, could arguably be an indication that a dog's owners knew he was a problem.' ('Pet Connection' columnist Gina Spadafori, 'Retrievers Rule: Beware of signs that lead to lawsuits', syndicated/Sacramento Bee, Jan. 25) (via Common Good's Society Watch).
So, if I understand this correctly, because of the litigation risk associated with a "Beware of Dog" sign, the public can no longer be put on notice that a dog is present. This is just stupid. Yes, it is true that some dogs are definitely more risky to own than others, because they have a very high aggression level (take Caucasian mountain dogs, for example, which were bred to be KGB attack animals). The fact is, though, that all dogs have the potential to be damaging. If you frighten the most gentle dog in the world, you may find yourself nursing a big bite wound. In other words, one should always beware of dogs. This is especially true when one has small children, since, from a dog's point of view, a small child can be seen as a dangerous and aggressive enemy. For parents, knowing a dog is present can be very helpful. To increase liability based upon a sign that points out the obvious, and that may provide a useful informational service, is ridiculous.