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Maryland Special Session Considers But Does Not Act On Pit Bull Legislation

The recent special session of the Maryland General Assembly, called primarily to enact legislation expanding gambling, also considered but did not finalize legislation that would have addressed the decision of the Court of Appeals imposing strict liability on the owners of pit bulls and their landlords.  This means that the current process of reconsideration of the ruling by the Court of Appeals will proceed.  The Court held that the owners of pit bull breeds, as well as landlords who permit tenants to own pit bulls, are strictly liable for damages arising from an attack by these dogs.  The decision in Tracy v. Solesky changed the common law, which requires that a plaintiff must prove that the dog was known to be dangerous.  Subsequently, the Court determined that it will hear arguments to reconsider the decision.  Interested groups on both sides of the contovery have filed amicus curie briefs with the Court, and seek to be heard on the issue.