While holding the owner responsible for a dog’s behavior is typically the norm, most reasonable people would know not to approach a barking dog in a gated residence. However, Demetrious Frazier found himself at odds with Luke Difulco after being bitten by one of his dogs while performing his work duties at their home. The following lawsuit answers the question; if you approach a barking dog and it bites you, is the owner liable for your injuries?
Frazier was an employee of the City of Alexandria and worked as a meter reader. He visited the Difulco’s home one afternoon to read their residential meter. As he approached the gate, two dogs began barking, followed by Luke Difulcot’s son, Daniel, who came outside to greet Frazier. Although Daniel offered to kennel the dogs for Frazier’s comfort, he entered through the gate without responding, and the ten-year-old black Labrador bit him on the hand.
In contrast to Daniel’s testimony, Frazier claimed that he saw no evidence of a dog when he approached the Difulco’s residence and entered through the gate to check the meter. After entering the gate, he was attacked by a dog, and then a second one approached him. Frazier received workers’ compensation and medical payments from his employer, and he sought additional damages against Luke Difulco through the lawsuit subject of this appeal.