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OFF BEAT: Dog bite lawsuit leads insurer to order removal of skate ramp


As the old saying goes, it's all fun and games until someone gets bitten by an unidentified dog.

Well, maybe that's not exactly how the saying goes, but that's what happened at one Phoenix hotspot, where a man's encounter with an ill-tempered pooch has led to the removal of a skateboard ramp, according to a Phoenix New Times report.

Martin Lieberman, owner of the Conspire coffee shop and music venue, said he plans to strike the popular half pipe ramp behind his establishment after he was sued for negligence this year, the New Times reported.

But that lawsuit has little, if anything, to do with the ramp itself.

In a lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, Mesa, Ariz., resident Robert Maida claims he was attacked by a dog behind the Conspire building in December 2010, according to the New Times report. The dog, whose owner never was identified, managed to tear a “chunk” of Mr. Maida's face off in the attack.

He has sued Mr. Lieberman, the Conspire staff and organizers of a craft fair for local artists for negligence and “failure to secure premises,” the New Times reported.

Mr. Lieberman is contesting the allegations, but no matter which way the case goes, it seems the half-pipe is doomed to be a casualty of the situation. When Mr. Lieberman's insurers inspected the property in response to Mr. Maida's lawsuit, they determined that the ramp was a “hazardous structure,” the New Times report said.