Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ Lawmaker Sued After His Dog Bites Man


Matt Gaetz, a Republican member of Florida’s House of Representatives, is being sued by a man who said he was bitten by Gaetz’s dog last May.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Christopher Kent filed a lawsuit last week claiming Gaetz’s dog bit him and left him in “pain, disfigured and with injuries that ultimately forced him to withdraw from law school.

On Monday, Gaetz told a reporter he was aware of a biting incident with his dog, but had been unaware of the lawsuit. Kent is asking for damages and money for his medical bills. 

Gaetz has been a key supporter of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which grants people the right to defend themselves against a perceived threat with deadly force without first attempting to retreat. 


Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com