Dismissal of dogbite case against landlord is overturned.
Ramzie Hamade was attacked while walking along the stree abutting the property of Melva Garza. Garza was the landlord/owner of property surrounded by a chain link fence which a pitbull jumped on its way to attack Hamade. Although the pit bull was chained, it was on a chain long enough to allow it to jump the fence and reach pedestrians on the street.
The landlord argued that she should not be responsible for the dog's actions because she owed no duty to anyone outside her premises and because she was unaware of the dog's vicious propensities. These claims were rejected. Affidavits from the neighborhood confirmed that the landlord had been informed of at least one prior attack and the dog's ability to leap the fence while remaining on its over-long chain. The Court further pointed out that although there are cases absolving a landlord for responsibility for animal attacks that occur a significant distance from the property, these cases to not relieve the landlord for injuries caused by a hazard on or immediately adjacent to the property.