In a case from northeast Ohio's Summit County, the court ruled 5-2 Wednesday that owners may be sued both under the state's dog bite law and for more general negligence.
The decision is a victory for the family of a 12-year-old girl who was mauled by a dog and was hurt on the head.
A trial judge had allowed the girl's mother to sue the owners only under the dog bite statute, limiting the money award in the case. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $5,000 for the girl's medical bills and other costs.
The Supreme Court says the mother should also have been allowed to pursue a negligence claim and possible punitive damages.