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Patricia Welsh v. Neil Brady [2008] CSOH 45


Personal Injury - Proof:- In the case the pursuer, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, sought damages for a severe injury to her right knee when she collided with the defender's labrador whilst she was walking her golden retriever in a field near the village of Wellbank on 14 March 2005. In the case damages were agreed at £160,000 and the only issue was limited to the question of whether the defender was liable to the pursuer. It was submitted on behalf of the pursuer that liability was established under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987 which failing by way of common law negligence on the part of the defender. It was further submitted that the injury suffered by the pursuer was directly referable to the conduct of the animal that was under the control of the defender and the defender was strictly liable for the injury to the pursuer and there was no need to prove negligence, however, it was submitted that the evidence established that the defender had failed to take reasonable care for the safety of the pursuer. It was submitted on behalf of the defender that apart from attacks by dogs, liability for injury caused by dogs rests on common law fault and in the present case the defender did not act carelessly given both dogs were off their leads at the time of the collision and the defender did not act in a negligent manner. Here the court considered whether the failure by the defender to put a lead on his dog when the pursuer came in to view amounted to negligence.