• Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth Appellate District
  • 06-16-00082-CV
  • RALPH K. BURGESS JUSTICE
While walking to her mailbox, appellant was viciously attacked by two dogs owned by her neighbor. After undergoing seven surgeries as a result of the attack, appellant sued the neighbor and appellee, her landlord, and asserted separate causes of action for negligence, strict liability, public nuisance, and private nuisance. Among other things, appellant's petition alleged that appellee knew the neighbor was harboring aggressive dogs on her property, but failed to use reasonable care to prevent the attack. On motion, the trial court granted appellee's traditional and no-evidence summary judgment finding appellee owed no duty of ordinary care to appellant. On appeal, the court reversed concluding there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether appellee had actual knowledge of the presence of a vicious animal on the leased premises. Here, the case established that appellee saw the dogs prior to the attack, described them as aggressive dogs, and knew the neighbor was keeping them to serve as guard dogs. The court noted, however, that evidence must be presented of appellee's actual knowledge of a dog's dangerous propensities in order for a duty to exist to protect others from a lessee's dog. The court concluded appellant demonstrated appellee knew the guard dogs' were aggressive in nature sufficient enough to withstand a no-evidence motion for summary judgment. Bolton v. Fisher, Texarkana Court of Appeals, Case No.: 06-16-00082-CV, 07/26/2017.

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