In what is being called a “landmark case for dog owners in Scotland” Judge Lord Malcolm ruled against the £160,000 damages claim by a woman who injured her knee when she was knocked to the ground by a black Labrador.
The judge ruled that Patricia Welsh was “a victim of a pure accident.”
Mrs. Welsh was walking her dog, Cava, when they encountered Neil Brady and his black Lab, Ebony. Both dogs were off leash and came running toward her. Ebony was faster and ran into the side of her leg, knocking her to the ground.
The accident caused severe damage to her knee calling for reconstructive surgery and loss of employment. Ebony was described as lively and boisterous animal, but not aggressive nor vicious.
In his ruling the judge stated that:
"The court must not contribute to the creation of a society bent on litigation which is premised on the illusion that for every misfortune there is a remedy…. Unfortunately for [Mrs. Walsh] for whom I have much sympathy, my conclusion is that reasonable attention to the safety of Mrs. Welsh did not require Mr. Brady to put Ebony on the lead when she and Cava came into view.”
However he warned that his ruling did not give all dog owners the freedom to let their animals off their leads.
The ruling seems to be somewhat counter to the American legal motto, “Where there is blame, there is a claim.” The story