The Pennsylvania Superior Court has granted summary judgment in a personal injury in a dog bite case involving a child. The mother of the victim child filed a personal injury action against the Landlord of the property averring that the Landlord was in control of the property and knew or should have known of the violent tendencies of the dog.
The Court upheld the rule that in order for a Landlord to be liable for a dog bite, the Landlord must have actual knowledge that the tenant harbors a dog with violent propensities. Furthermore, the fact that one tenant does odd property related jobs at the property does not make him/her an actual agent of the Landlord and therefore his knowledge can not be imputed on to the Landlord. In terms of knowledge of a Landlord, the Court upheld the standard of actual knowledge. Constructive knowledge, or otherwise stated ‘should have known’, is not sufficient.
Here is a link to the Decision.