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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Dec 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert L. Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Anthony Moore.

Attorneys 2:

Stephanie L. Prager and Shelley S. Breeding, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michael Gaut.

Judge(s): SUSANO

Plaintiff James Anthony Moore was at Defendant Michael Gaut’s residence to do maintenance on his satellite dish when he was bitten by Defendant’s dog, a Great Dane. The dog was in Defendant’s fenced-in backyard, Plaintiff was on the other side of the fence, and the dog bit Plaintiff on his face. The trial court granted Defendant summary judgment based on its finding that there was no evidence that Plaintiff knew or should have known that the dog had any dangerous propensities. On appeal, Plaintiff argues that the large size of the Great Dane, a breed Plaintiff characterizes as being in a “suspect class,” should be enough, standing alone, to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Plaintiff should have known the dog had dangerous propensities. We disagree and affirm the trial court’s judgment.