The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the landlord’s motion for summary judgment in this dog-bite case should have been granted. The landlord was aware the tenant had a dog, and could have required the removal of the dog, but was not aware whether the dog had vicious propensities. The court noted that theories of common-law negligence are not applicable:
It is well established that ” [t]o recover against a landlord for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog on a theory of strict liability, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the landlord: (1) had notice that a dog was being harbored on the premises[,] (2) knew or should have known that the dog had vicious propensities, and (3) had sufficient control of the premises to allow the landlord to remove or confine the dog’ ” … . Here, it is undisputed that defendant was aware that a dog was kept on the premises by his tenants and that he could have required them to remove or confine the dog. Nevertheless, defendant met his initial burden on the motion by establishing as a matter of law that he lacked actual or constructive knowledge that his tenants’ dog had any vicious propensities … .
Furthermore, to the extent that plaintiff’s complaint includes a negligence cause of action, we conclude that the court erred in failing to dismiss that cause of action inasmuch as “[c]ases involving injuries inflicted by domestic animals may only proceed under strict liability based on the owner’s knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensities, not on theories of common-law negligence” … . Toher v Duchnycz, 2019 NY Slip Op 03487, Fourth Dept 5-3-19