In 2011, an off-duty police dog escaped from his handler and attacked an
11 year-old boy who was playing football in the neighborhood.
While his handler, Officer Eshleman claims that she is entitled to "official
immunity", because she was performing official duties while caring
for the dog, the boy's family believes that she should be held liable
for his injuries because the law requires owners to keep their animals
under restraint, especially animals who are known to be vicious.
The Supreme Court will now have to decide if Officer Eshleman was actually
following directions on specific acts (known as "ministerial")
or she was making personal decisions (known as "discretionary").
In essence, the question to be answered is "does Eshleman's status
as a police officer keep her from being responsible for what happened?"
Many local residents agree with the boy's family-that it doesn't
matter if the dog in question is a police dog, the law should apply to
everyone. Police officers should still keep their animals under restraint
and be held liable when dog bite accidents occur.
The Georgia Supreme Court is expected to make their ruling in about 6 months.
To contact Jones & Swanson about your dog bite or personal injury case,
please call (770) 884-6652 or fill out an
online evaluation form!