MARYLAND

The Maryland Court of Appeals removes cross breeds in pit bull ruling

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court has removed cross-breeds from its strict liability ruling on dog bites caused by pit bulls.

The Maryland Court of Appeals made the change on Tuesday in response to a request for reconsideration.

The court's decision still holds owners and landlords liable for pit bull bites. Plaintiffs in civil lawsuits won't have to prove the animal's prior violent behavior for the owner or a landlord to be liable for damages.

However, the opinion written by Judge Alan Wilner concedes that the initial ruling went too far by including cross-breeds.

The judge writes that the definition of cross-breed is unclear. He notes it's uncertain whether a cross-bred pit bull is limited to the offspring of two pure-bred dogs of different breed or includes succeeding generations bred from cross-bred parents.

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