QLD Dog Attack with Civil Claim for Negligence?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by B Gibson, 7 September 2018.

  1. B Gibson

    B Gibson Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Before I begin on the situation, I understand there is going to be a lot of controversy about what should happen and I only ask you to keep your minds open. I am not here to be shamed, only for opinion.

    About six months ago, my dog was declared as dangerous as he jumped the fence and bit another dog (he is 4 and did not have any history of this behavior. The dog suffered only these injuries and did not pass- thankfully for the owners and us).

    My partner and I made our place fully compliant since he was declared. We then moved about 25 minutes away into a new house with my partner's mum and her partner (let's call him John). We had a behaviorist come out, worked on his training etc., etc. We were very clear with them when we moved in that he was only to be walked by myself and my partner and all doors were to be closed as they knew it would not be good if he was let out.

    Two days ago, I left for work and received a call from my partner that John left the gate open and brought our dog outside of the secure area to take him for a walk before even putting the leash on (we were not aware he was taking him for a walk - because he's not supposed to - and also attempted to do so with the non-compliant walking gear). Our dog ran down the street bit a 14 year old dog on the leg that sadly passed away, suspected heart attack being the closing reason.

    I am a huge animal person and was/still am deeply saddened to hear what had happened, so I went to the owners of the other pup and grieved with them where they admitted that he was very old and didn't have much left in him but he didn't deserve to go like that (I completely agree with this by the way, it's a terrible loss).

    My main question out of all of this is that now they want to take civil action against us and have come to our property taking photos of his enclosure. Can we actually be sued since it was not out negligence that caused this but rather someone who went behind our back and let him out?

    I had already told them that any bills etc. will be covered (which won't be by us, but will be John) and we are moving out of this house because we honestly can't even look at John or my partners mum. Won't it cost them more in legal fees to do all this?

    I obviously want to work with them because I truly do hurt for their loss, but suing us seems extreme.
     
  2. Shanahan Law

    Shanahan Law Well-Known Member
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    The damages that could be recovered by the owners of the other dog in any successful civil claim would be limited to the amount of the bills that you have already offered to pay. So I tend to agree with you that suing seems extreme. Aside from the potential civil claim there is also the issue of the local council also taking action against the dog - ranging from a fine to possibly terminating the dog. You are probably already aware of what the council can do in these situations, so I won't go on about that. Best of luck.
     
  3. B Gibson

    B Gibson Active Member

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    Thank you very much for your response.

    Yes, Council have sadly taken our dog which we are also dealing with at the moment.
     
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