By expressly inviting Nicholas Evans into their home to be babysat, did Andrea Williams imply Nicholas was allowed to enter the room that held the dog—Andrea owned—that injured Nicholas?
Probably no. Although Andrea owned the dog that bit Nicholas; Nicholas was trespassing by entering a room that he had not been expressly allowed to enter. The law does not distinguish between trespassing children and adults. Trespassers are barred from recovery in strict liability and landowner negligence suits.
One of our new clients, Andrea Williams (landowner dog owner), asserted the following facts in an interview.
Andrea Williams has been babysitting their neighbor’s 5-year-old son Nicholas Williams once a month for two years. Andrea taught Nicholas to feed the dogs in her care because Nicholas would frequently try to eat the dog food. Andrea never taught Nicholas to feed the dog in question, only the smaller dogs in her care. On June 11th, Nicholas’ parents dropped him off at Andrea’s home for the day. Andrea fed her “food aggressive” dog in a room on the opposite side of the house as Nicholas. This dog was one of Andrea’s older dogs, and has known Nicholas his entire life, but has never been aggressive towards him. While Andrea was cooking breakfast, she believed Nicholas was in the living room nearby watching the T.V. But,
Nicholas stopped watching T.V. and went into the room that held the dog in question. Nicholas would sometimes be allowed to take a nap in the guest bedroom, which is next to the room Nicholas entered. Andrea frequently told Nicholas not to wander around the house, and Nicholas has never played in the feeding room before. The home only has locks on the bathroom doors. A...
... middle of paper ...
...nd, that defendant’s dog bit plaintiff; and third, the bite occurred while plaintiff was in a public place or lawfully in a private place. A “bite” for the purpose of this statute does not require the dog’s teeth to pierce the skin or even a wound to be created. It is sufficient that a part of the plaintiff be located between the dog’s jaws even if the part is shielded by clothing. De Vivo v. Anderson, 410 Cal. App. 175 (2009.)
Although Andrea owned the dog that bit Nicholas; Nicholas was trespassing by entering a room that he had not been allowed to enter, expressly, through omission, or implication. The law does not distinguish between trespassing children and adults. Trespassers are barred from recovery in strict liability and landowner negligence suits. Since it is likely the court will find Nicholas a trespasser I recommend you take the case to trial
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