Court: Dog keeper not responsible for motorcycle crash

Posted Jan. 30, 2012, at 3:28 p.m.

CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit blaming a New Hampshire man for a motorcycle crash involving his son’s dog.

Lisa Lorrain, a Maine resident, was seriously hurt in 2009 when she tried to avoid hitting the dog and crashed into a telephone poll in Wakefield. She sued John Branscombe of Nottingham, whose adult son owned the dog, arguing that he could be considered the dog’s “keeper” under the law because he let his son bring the dog to work at a business he owned in Rochester.

A U.S. District Court judge rejected that argument Monday and said even if Branscombe was the dog’s keeper, the state’s “dog bite” law doesn’t apply because the dog wasn’t being vicious or mischievous in running into the road.

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