Yesterday, I co-taught my torts class with leading authority Luna Turley, Professor of Animal Welfare (PAW). Professor Luna has spent her life working on animal liability questions and taught both my day and evening classes on the common law rules governing dogs and other animals. Continue reading “Professor Luna Teaches Animal Liability at George Washington University”
There is a bizarre case in Minnesota where Levi Arneberg, 27, is accused of killing his roommates four emotional support ferrets with a BB gun. The case raises an issue for sentencing that could present a problem for the defense. Continue reading “Minnesota Man Kills Roommate’s Four Emotional Support Ferrets”
We had just finished discussing animal liability in my torts class when a bizarre case from Halloween surfaced involving the girlfriend of Texas special teams coach Jeff Banks. The account involves a stripper known as Pole Assassin, a monkey used in her act, and a wandering child at the house of horror she created for Halloween . . . and they say my torts exams are unrealistic. Continue reading ““No One is Allowed to Touch Her!”: Child Bitten By Pet Monkey in Halloween House of Horrors”
There is an interesting lawsuit filed in Washington against the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over censorship. The lawsuit was brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the Animal Legal Defense Fund after the government blocked comments on opposing animal testing on the agencies’ social media sites. The lawsuit has ample support in the case law. Notably, it also comes at a time when the Administration and many Democratic leaders, like President Joe Biden, have called on private companies to engage in massive censorship programs on social media. The lawsuit was filed in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Collins, No. 1:21-cv-02380 (D.D.C.).
We have previously discussed animal liability in torts. There is a tragedy in Pennsylvania which could present difficult questions for such cases after Rhoda Wagner, 60, was killed by three pit bulls. She was watching the dogs for her roommate. If litigated, the state’s nuanced dog liability laws would come into effect.
Two professors at the University of Sheffield have published a piece in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies to extend hate speech protections to animals to deal with hateful “speciesist” remarks. Drs. Josh Milburn and Alasdair Cochrane insist that such protections will help achieve a “more benign human–animal relations within society.” The need for speech criminalization is based on the view that “some animals do seem to have their social confidence eroded because of their awareness of the risk of violence.”
I am admittedly a long advocate for protecting wolf populations as well as other wildlife severely displaced or reduced by development or hunting. However, there now appears a type of environmental dividend for those looking for a reason to support wolf reintroduction programs: lower accidents and insurance rates. A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that car accidents with deer decreased dramatically after the re-introduction of wolves. Continue reading “Want Lower Car Insurance? Get Some Wolves, According to a Recent Study”
That is the situation facing the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office after picking up Victor Hugo Cuevas, 26, after a bizarre incident involving a wayward tiger. For Cuevas, there is no good option. To quote that other Victor Hugo “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!” Continue reading “Houston Man Arrested As Police Continue Search For Missing Tiger”
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
It had been a while since my latest purchase of strange technology pieces, the most recent being a telephone having both a rotary dial and a touch-tone pad. But the need and a very compelling price demanded this latest foray–a 1950’s (?) vintage Royal typewriter with a massive, twenty-inch-wide carriage.
There is no escapement from this 39 pound lexi-beast; cf. at 7 pounds a Remington Personal-Riter manual typewriter. It can in only one and a half lines compose the entirety of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and still have room for two invocations of The Quick Brown Fox to complete the second line.
I previously wrote about the historical and legal perspectives of a biting incident involving one of the presidential pets, Major. Both Biden German Shepherds (Major and Champ) were previously whisked out of town. They were then quietly brought back. Now Major has bitten another person who reportedly required medical attention. In the prior column, I noted that under tort law a dog is afforded (at most) “one free bite” before strict liability applies. Major could now be treated as a known vicious animal for liability purposes.
The Biden German Shepherds have been sent back to Delaware after “Major” was involved in a “biting incident” with a White House security officer. Assuming the incident was a dog-bites-guard rather than a guard-bites-dog incident, the question is whether this is a “Major” liability concern. If nothing else, it allows me to talk about two of my favorite subjects: dogs and torts. Continue reading ““Major” Liability or One Free Bite? Biden Sends Dogs Back to Delaware After Biting Incident”
We have previously discussed curious campaigns by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) like seeking to change the expression “bring home the bacon” with “bring homes the bagels.” Now the animal rights group appears to be tapping into the movement for speech curtailment and regulation by declaring the use of animals to be “supremacist” and “speciesist.” Thus, it calls for the end of the use of pig, chicken, pig, rat, snake and other terms as pejorative terms to “stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”