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AMI1602Liability for Dangerous Animals

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1602
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2018 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 16. Animals
AMI 1602 Liability for Dangerous Animals
A person who keeps [a wild animal][a domestic animal with knowledge of its dangerous tendencies] [other dangerous animal] does so at (his)(her) own risk and is liable for [injuries][and][damage] caused by the animal [but the injured person's right to recover damages may be diminished or barred by (his)(her) own fault].
NOTE ON USE
Do not use this instruction when the case is submitted on interrogatories or when the plaintiff is a trespasser as a matter of law. If there is an issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff is a trespasser, licensee, or invitee, this instruction should be appropriately modified.
If there is an issue as to the plaintiff's negligence or other fault, such as proof that the plaintiff teased or provoked the animal, also use AMI 1603 and 1604.
COMMENT
The owner or custodian of a dangerous animal is strictly liable for harm done by it to a third person. Strange v. Stovall, 261 Ark. 53, 546 S.W.2d 421 (1977); Note, 24 Ark.L.Rev. 593 (1971). It is immaterial that the animal is not savage but acts in good nature and playfulness if its owner has notice of a propensity to injure people. Finley v. Smith, 240 Ark. 323, 399 S.W.2d 271 (1966). Despite the rule of strict liability, the plaintiff's recovery may still be diminished by the statutory doctrine of comparative fault. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-64-122; Strange v. Stovall, supra.
A tenant's failure to prohibit a vicious dog from running at large in violation of a city ordinance not imputed to landlord. Bryant v. Putnam, 322 Ark. 284, 908 S.W.2d 338 (1995).
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