Rule of Law | An 88-year-old man from Foshan tripped on a dog leash and died, whose responsibility?
The death of an eighty-year-old man in Xingtan Town, Shunde District, Foshan, Guangdong, who tripped on a dog leash, caused widespread concern. On the evening of August 18, the official WeChat account of the Xingtan Town Government reported that the incident was initially judged to be an accident.
According to the report, after investigation, villager Luo (female, 12 years old) took out another villager Luo's dog that was kept in front of his house to play. The dog broke away from the restraint rope while passing through the Luoshui market, and the dog had an accident during the run. Tripped villager Mai (female, 88 years old), causing Mai to be injured and died.
So, what responsibilities should the girl and the dog owner bear? On the evening of August 18, several lawyers told The Paper (www.thepaper.cn) that this case was a civil infringement case. Some lawyers believe that the girl with the dog in this case shall bear all the tort liability. If the dog's restraint rope is unwound without authorization, the dog owner shall not be liable for civil compensation. There are also lawyers who believe that as an animal breeder, the owner of the dog should bear no-fault liability, that is, regardless of whether the animal is at fault or not, the animal breeder (ie, the dog owner) shall be liable for damage to others.
Point of view 1: If the girl takes the dog away without authorization, the owner of the dog does not need to be held responsible without knowing it
At about 17:17 on August 17, an old man in Xingtan Town, Shunde District, Foshan, Guangdong, tripped on a dog’s leash, and died after being sent to a doctor. According to media reports, relatives of the dog owner claimed that the girl in question took the leashed dog away while the owner was not paying attention, and then took the dog back to the owner's house afterwards, saying that she tripped someone on the road.
Ding Jinkun, a lawyer at Shanghai Dabang Law Firm, believes that this was an unexpected incident that could not be foreseen in advance and was not a criminal case. He analyzed that if the girl untie the dog leash without authorization, it is an act of stealing, interrupting the management responsibility of the dog owner, and the perpetrator girl bears all the tort liability, but because the girl is a minor, her guardian is responsible for compensation.
Ding Jinkun believes that if the dog’s leash is not unlocked by the girl without authorization, but the dog owner agrees or helps to untie it, the owner of the dog is negligent in his management, because the girl is a minor and walking the dog alone is risky. At this time, the dog’s The owner should bear the corresponding compensation liability.
Xing Xin, a partner of Hunan Jinzhou Law Firm, also said that according to the report of this matter, the owner of the dog will not be liable if "the girl took the dog without authorization."
Viewpoint 2: Dog owners are responsible for whether they know it or not
Bai Xiangfei, a lawyer from Shanghai Hanshang Law Firm, believes that in this case, the dog owner should bear civil liability for compensation. The Tort Liability Law of the People’s Republic of China and the upcoming “Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China” clearly stipulate that if a raised animal causes damage to others, the animal keeper or manager shall bear tort liability.
Bai Xiangfei analyzed that in this case, "whether the dog is tied to a rope and whether the dog owner knows" is essentially judging whether the dog owner has fulfilled his reasonable obligations. But the dog owner bears no-fault liability, that is, no matter whether the animal is at fault or not, the dog owner shall be liable for damage to others caused by the animal.
Zhao Liangshan, a senior partner of Shaanxi Hengda Law Firm and a well-known public welfare lawyer, also stated that dog owners have proper supervision and care obligations for dogs. He further explained that in this case, if the dog owner is in his own yard and is isolated from the outside world, the little girl steals the dog away without the dog owner’s knowledge. At this time, the girl has subjective intentions and the dog owner’s The duty of care should be relatively low, and no liability is assumed. If the dog owner’s ground is not isolated and the outside world is easy to contact, the dog owner’s duty of care will be relatively high. For example, the little girl leads the dog away due to curiosity, playfulness or the absence of the dog owner. At this time, the dog owner Should bear part of the supervisory responsibility.
If the puppy that is being chased has an owner, is it responsible?
It is worth noting that according to the surveillance video of the incident, the big dog with a dog leash tripped the old man while chasing another unled puppy. Zhao Liangshan believes that in accordance with relevant dog-raising regulations, many places require the dog to be held on a leash when walking the dog. In this case, the owner of the puppy did not lead the leash, which caused the dog to chase and trip over others. He was at fault for the accident and was liable within the scope of the fault.
Zhao Liangshan emphasized that if the puppy is a stray dog, according to Article 82 of the "People’s Republic of China Tort Liability Law": “Abandoned or escaped animals that cause damage to others during the abandonment or escape shall be borne by the original animal breeder or manager Liability for tort." The original breeder and manager shall bear the liability for compensation.
Lawyer Xing Xin also believes that if the puppy’s breeder or manager mismanages, he should be jointly and severally liable with the girl’s guardian.
Zhao Liangshan said that the families of the victims can first negotiate compensation with the parties at fault in this case. If the negotiation fails, they can bring the big dog owner, girl, guardian, and puppy owner to the court together, and the court will determine the responsibility according to the degree of fault of each party. Proportion and compensation amount.
Reporter Liao Yan, trainee reporter Lin Jueyao