In Foreclosed Property is the Bank Responsible For a Dog Bite?

January 21, 2016 9:47 pm Published by

Martinez v. Bank of America, 82 Cal.App.4th 883, 98 Cal.Rptr.2d 576 (2000)

If a bank forecloses on a property and it is the new owner is it responsible for injuries caused by dogs on the property?

Yes if it knows about the dog and can get rid of it.

When a bank owns a property is it responsible for a dog bite taking place on its property?

Yes, if it knows about the dog and can get rid of it.

In Foreclosed Property is the Bank Responsible For a Dog Bite?

Yes, but only if it knows about the dog and can get rid of it.

SUMMARY OF FACTS

Bank of America bought a foreclosed property at auction. The bank then started proceedings to evict the occupants. While it awaited to evict the occupants, plaintiff’s son entered the property. While on the property a dog attacked the boy and the boy later died. The plaintiff file suit against the bank as owner of the property for wrongful death. On June 13, 1995, before the unlawful detainer action had been set for trial, dogs on the 114 South Chester Avenue property attacked Gilberto Martinez, the son of plaintiffs Ruben Martinez and Maria Martinez. The Martinez lived next door to 114 South Chester Avenue. Gilberto Martinez died of injuries he suffered in the dog attack. The Martinezes filed a lawsuit against Bank of America, Charles William Lindsey, and Ophelia Lindsey. They alleged causes of action for negligence, wrongful death, premises liability, and strict liability. The complaint alleged that the Lindseys operated a construction business which was guarded by a pack of dangerous dogs whose vicious propensities were known to their owners, the Lindseys, who occupied the property.

COURTS OPINION

The court concluded that a bank that acquires real property through foreclosure has a duty to inspect and remedy defects on the property only if it has actual knowledge of the defects and the ability to prevent foreseeable harm. In this case there was an unlawful detainer proceeding pending and the former owners’ refused to relinquish possession and control of the property, so the bank did not have the authority, ability, or power to repair defects on the property. Because of this lack of knowledge and of power and based on the factors in Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108, 70 Cal.Rptr. 97, 443 P.2d 561, the bank owed no duty to plaintiffs. So the bank was not liable.

Tags: , , ,

Categorised in: , , , ,

This post was written by Orange Dog Bite Attorney

Comments are closed here.