Your dog bites the neighbour or a visitor is hurt running away from an angry ostrich on your property – can you be sued?
A recent SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) decision illustrates.
R6.75m claimed for a snapped Achilles tendon
But be careful – you face liability without fault!
The Court in reaching its decision analysed how our modern courts have applied and interpreted several ancient Roman laws dealing with the question of liability for damage/injury caused by animals (domesticated and wild).
Lawyers of an academic bent will doubtless spend many happy hours analysing the SCA’s judgment, but unless you are interested in learning about the theory and ins-and-outs of arcane concepts like actio de pauperie, edictum de feris, qua vulgo iter fit and the like, best confine yourself to understanding these practical issues –
How to protect yourself
Bottom line – protect yourself by reducing the risks your animals pose to others, and check that your insurance will cover you if you are sued. Disclaimers of liability are also a no-brainer for commercial operations like game farms and reserves, but they need careful wording to afford any hope of protection.
This article is for general information purposes and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact us At DKVG Attorneys for specific and detailed advice.
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© DotNews, 2005-2018. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)