Wednesday, March 01, 2023

High Court reporters

A county council is being sued after a girl on a playdate at a local authority house has claimed she suffered injuries when she was suddenly attacked by a Belgian Shepherd dog.

The High Court Deputy Master was on Wednesday told the girl, who was five-years-old at the time, has been left with nasty scarring on her right inner thigh as a result of the alleged attack at a house in Cois Na Feadain, Naas, Co Kildare.

The dog, which was owned by the local authority tenants, it is claimed without warning attacked and bit the girl after she attended the house on a playdate eight years ago.

Kildare County Council has denied all claims and contends it did not owe any duty of care to the girl in respect of dog attacks in the premises which was let to tenants.

In an affidavit to the court, the girl’s solicitor Liam Moloney said the girl sustained a severe laceration to the inside of her right thigh and as a result she is left with permanent, noticeable and nasty scarring.

His side sought discovery of certain documents from Kildare County Council including the tenancy agreement on the house and all documentation on the council rules on keeping dogs in local authority housing.

Patrycja Cisowski of Radharc an Caislean, Naas, Co Kildare has through her father Robert Cisowski sued the owners of the dog, Dylan and Brendan Doran and Bernadette Dawson — all of Cois na Feadain, Naas — as a result of the alleged incident at the house on March 24th, 2015. Kildare County Council has also been sued.

Deputy Master John Glennon was told that judgement has already been granted in default of appearance against the three dog owners. The young girl is now 13 years of age.

In the proceedings it is claimed that there was an alleged failure to adequately secure the premises to ensure the dog was not at liberty to go freely about and there was an alleged failure to maintain the dog under effectual control or under the control of another responsible person at all times.

It is further claimed that a guard dog was allowed to be on the premises in alleged breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement with Kildare County Council.

It is also claimed there was an alleged failure to control the dog when they knew or ought to have known that it had an alleged mischievous propensity.

In its full defence of the proceedings Kildare County Council has contended the claim is misconceived.

It contends no cause of action can be maintained and as a housing authority, Kildare County Council does not owe any duty of care to the girl in respect of dog attacks in the premises let to the tenants.

The Deputy Master granted five categories of discovery to the Cisowski side and gave Kildare County Council ten weeks to produce the documents.

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