William H. Chamblee, Douglas R. Lewis, and Weston L. Hall successfully defended a Dallas property owner/landlord against negligence and premises liability claims in a lawsuit involving a young boy who was bitten by a pit bull owned by the tenant occupying the property. The bite occurred in the neighbors’ yard after the dog somehow got loose and jumped the fence. The landlord had no knowledge there was a dog at the property, and the tenant was in violation of the lease for having a dog. Plaintiffs contended the landlord had a duty to protect the neighbors from the tenant’s dog. Plaintiffs also attempted to argue the fence was in poor repair and that the landlord did not adequately maintain the property.
The evidence showed the landlord had no knowledge that any dog being kept at the property had dangerous propensities. The evidence also confirmed the fence between the two properties had been maintained in a reasonable manner for an out of possession landlord. The trial lasted four days and, after a short deliberation, the jury returned a 10 to 2 verdict on behalf of the Defendants, finding no negligence.