- Created on 28 March 2011
- Last Updated on 17 March 2014
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Collateral Estoppel as a Defense?
Not in this Case
Collateral estoppel was used successfully as a defense to a Dangerous Dog classification in euthanasia.
Olsen appealed, arguing that Animal Control should be estopped from declaring the dog dangerous, since the original infractions were for bites causing less than a severe injury. Obviously, for the dog to be deemed dangerous, a severe injury was required under the ordinance. The court ruled against Olsen on the collateral estoppel issue, although it did reverse on other grounds. The court said that judicial estoppel did not apply, because the position taken by the Seattle Animal Shelter was not inherently inconsistent. Different bites on the two victims could have been severe and not severe.
Maybe next time.