Landlords Found Not Liable for Tenant Dog Attack
Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, dismissing an injury claim following a dog attack.
In this week’s case (Ali v. Samra) the Plaintiff was walking to a park when a pitbull left a nearby property and attacked him in an alley where he was walking. The incident was described as follows:
On May 3, 2015, the plaintiff left his house to meet his friends at a nearby school playground. As he had done on many occasions, he walked down the alley at the back of his house and reached the corner of the alley at 98A Avenue and 132A Street in Surrey, British Columbia, when a brown pit bull came from a nearby property at 13232 – 98A Avenue, (the “Property”), and ran towards him. The plaintiff ran away from the dog but it jumped on him and bit him severely on the back and under an arm. He had done nothing to provoke the dog.
The Plaintiff sued the homeowner where the dog came from along with tenants who supposedly owned the dog. At the time of the attack the homeowners did not occupy the residence rather it was leased out to a tenant who sub leased the property to recovering heroin addicts. The terms of the homeowners lease specified that no pets were permitted.
The Plaintiff sued the homeowner under the Occupier’s Liability Act and under the doctrines of negligence and scienter. All three claims failed with the Mr. Justice Bowden providing the following reasons: