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Tenant's Tying Up a Vicious Dog Could Place Liability on Landlord

November 12, 2010

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In <i>Jones v Pennsylvania Meat Mkt,</i> the plaintiff was bitten on the leg by a pit bull dog near the rear entrance of a grocery store. At the time of the incident, the dog was tied to a store's dumpster. The store was located in a strip mall and the landlord retained security guards to patrol the property. The plaintiff testified he frequently saw the dog, which allegedly was owned by a store employee, tied to the dumpster. He also testified that the dog had a tendency to bark, growl, and strain against its leash to lunge at people who were passing by. In denying the landlord's motion for summary judgment, the court stated the the evidence raised triable issues of fact as to whether the landlord was aware that the dog was being harbored on its premises, whether the dog had vicious propensities, whether the landlord controlled the area where the incident occurred.

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