You simply can’t make this stuff up. Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being bitten by his white Maltese poodle, Sumo. Sumo has been under care for clinical depression, including treatment with anti-depressants.
Bernadette had no idea why the poodle attacked: “If you only knew! I had a dramatic day yesterday. Sumo bit my husband!”
Chirac is 76-year-old and was president of France for 12 years until 2007.
It does raise an interesting torts question. If a poodle is clinically depressed and unstable, does that qualify as know vicious propensities? Putting aside that the Chiracs are unlikely to sue themselves, the increasingly common diagnosis of animals with psychological problems raises a new dimension to the determination of when strict liability applies to a domesticated animal.
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