California Dog Bite Statute: Liability Is Automatic Even Without Knowledge Of the Dog Biting Before
3342. (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
General Landlord Liability With Dog Bites In California
Landlords can be held liable for Dog Bites in California if they fail to repair fencing that would have held the dog in place. Or, if the Landlord had actual knowledge of a dangerous condition (the dangerous dog) on the property. In Portillo v. Aiassa (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 1128, the court stated that: "We hold that a landlord has a duty to exercise reasonable care in the inspection of his commercial property and to remove a dangerous condition, which includes a dog, from the premises, if he knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care would have known, the dog was dangerous and usually present on the premises." In that case, the plaintiff was bitten in a liquor store by a dog owned by the tenant who was operating the business. The court noted that it is reasonably foreseeable that guard dogs in commercial establishments open to the public will injure someone. The court also held that the landlord could not avoid liability by failing to inspect the premises and thereby claim that he ha
General Landlord Liability With Dog Bites Happening on Residential Property
Plaintiff has to prove:
1. Landlord knew of the dog being on the property (actual knowledge, not just mere constructive knowledge);
2. Landlord knew of the dog's dangerous propensities;
The courts hold that the Plaintiff needs to show actual knowledge of the dog and its dangerous propensities. This is not to say a landlord must inspect for dogs on his or her property, but what it does say is if the landlord discovers the dog, and is aware of the dangerous nature of the dog, and then does nothing, a plaintiff can argue a duty of due care did exist and the landlord failed to remedy the dangerous condition.