Rubin v. Town of Poultney

In Rubin v. Town of Poultney (168 Vt. 624, 721 A.2d 504 [1998]), plaintiff sued to recover damages for injuries sustained by her when she was bitten by a homeowner's dog after the municipal defendant had received certain complaints about the dog. On appeal from the trial court's dismissal of the complaint on a summary judgment motion, plaintiff argued that "defendants assumed a duty to her by undertaking actions not otherwise required of them", and that "the trial court erred because the existence and scope of a voluntarily undertaken duty is a question of fact that must be submitted to a jury" (id., 168 Vt., at 625, 626, 721 A.2d, at 506-507). Acknowledging that this had been held to be the rule by the Pratt Court based upon its reliance on Derosia, Vermont's highest Court declared that: "We need not reach that issue in this case because plaintiff did not come forward with sufficient evidence that defendants undertook to control the ... dog for the question to reach a jury" (id., 168 Vt., at 626, 721 A.2d, at 507 ).