An Arkansas man is suing a dog owner alleging that the owner created a road hazard by not appropriately controlling his dog.  Bobby Spanhanks of Fouke, Arkansas says that Denny Lee Williamson’s loose dog is the proximate cause of his crash.  In his complaint, Spanhanks says that Williamson did not properly control his pet and let it run into the roadway.

Dog in the roadway

Spanhanks says that Williamson’s “large-breed white dog” the dog darted into the roadway as Spanhanks was traveling west on Miller Country Road 20.  Spanhanks says as the result of the collision, he crashed while riding his 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Specifically, Spanhanks complaint alleges:

“Plaintiff did not have time to react and hit the dog causing plaintiff to crash his motorcycle.  The unanticipated collision caused serious injuries and damages to plaintiff.”

The plaintiff says that he suffered a broken nose, pain, a knee injury and continues to suffer from pain and mental anguish.  The complaint also states that Spanhank’s motorcycle is a “total loss”.

Spanhanks is seeking compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, attorney fees, and costs associated with the lawsuit.

The defendant Wilson has yet to file a response to the complaint.

Collision Dog

Domestic animals can be a road hazard. Whose responsibility are they?  Note: This picture is not from the alleged incident.  Image credit: YouTube Travis Meyer

Not an unusual case

This is not the first case of its kind by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s somewhat similar to a case we told you about recently where a plaintiff alleged that a property owner put lawn trimmings in the road causing a crash and loss of life.  In that case, the property owner was found guilty and received a fine less than $500.

So what do you think of this case?  Should a property owner be held liable for their animals that may run or wander into the road?  Do you think this case is much different from a case where grass clippings are placed into the road by a property owner?

Let us know in the comments below.



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