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Bessent v. Matthews - Lessor Liability for a Bite by a Tenant's Dog

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It is sometimes possible in a dog bite case to make a claim against a landlord (or an AOAO) as well as against the owner of the dog. A property owner has a duty to warn of latent or concealed defects on the property of which the owner knows or should have knowledge. Kole v. AMFAC, Inc., 69 Haw. 530, 533, 750 P.2d 929, 931 (1988). See also, Gelber v. Sheraton-Hawaii Corp., 49 Haw. 327, 329, 417 P.2d 638, 639 (1966). A case out of Florida applies this logic to a dangerous dog in a dog bite case - see, Bessent v. Matthews, 543 So.2d 438 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1989). The Bessent case held that a landlord may be liable for injuries caused by a dog belonging to a tenant if the landlord had the ability to remove or abate the hazard and the actual knowledge of a dog's vicious propensities.


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Accident Lawyer Hawaii

William H. Lawson, Esq. and
Amy L. Woodward, Esq.

Century Square
1188 Bishop St. Suite 2902
Honolulu, HI 96813

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(808) 524-5300

Pearl City, Aiea and Waipahu:
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Recent Personal Injury and Car Accident News

Game Truck Georgia was recently hit with a $4.7 million judgment for injuries arising out of a game of "bubble soccer". But this was after they had pleaded with their insurer to settle those same claims for a pretrial offer of $1 million - which was within their policy limits. Their insurer, Atlantic Specialty Insurance, declined those offers and forced the case to trial. Now the attorneys for Game Truck Georgia are chasing their own insurance company for its bad faith refusal to settle - a refusal which led to the insolvency and desctruction of their business.

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