An Ohio Supreme Court ruling could result in more trouble for dog owners taken to court for the personal injuries their animals cause.


In a case that was initially filed in Summit County, Ohio, the court ruled 5-2 on January 6 that owners could be sued both under the state’s dog bite law and for more general negligence.


The decision was in favor of a 12-year-old girl who suffered head injuries when she was mauled by a dog.


A trial judge had allowed the girl’s mother to only file suit under the dog bite statute, limiting the monetary award in the case. Compensatory damages of $5,000 were awarded for the girl’s medical expenses.


According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the mother should have also been permitted to pursue a negligence claim for possible punitive damages.

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