Civil Litigation - Animal Claims – Knowledge of Dangerous Propensity

Summary of Pennsylvania Decisions

Rosenberry v. Evans, 2012 PA Super 91 (April 23, 2012)

Holding: To establish negligence against a landlord for injuries by a tenant’s dog, a plaintiff must prove that the landlord owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and that the injuries were proximately caused by the breach. A landlord out of possession is not liable for attacks by animals kept by his tenant on leased premises when the tenant has exclusive control over the premises. Actual knowledge of an animal’s dangerous propensities is required before a duty is imposed upon a landlord to protect against or remove an animal housed on rental property. Thus, while knowledge of an agent, acting within the scope of his authority, may be imputed to a principal, the agent’s awareness of a given fact is not imputed to the principal if knowledge of the fact is not material to his duties to the principal.