Supreme Court Rules In Yankton Pitbull Attack Case

Supreme Court Rules In Yankton Pitbull Attack Case

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a Yankton trailer court owner isn’t liable for injuries to a child who was attacked by a tenant’s dog.

Teresa Burgi appealed a case she brought on behalf of herself and as a guardian for the boy who was injured at the trailer court in September 2017.

A lower court earlier ruled in favor of East Winds Court and its owner Yankton attorney John Blackburn.

The boy, identified only as K.B., was retrieving a basketball within the radius of the pit bull’s leash while playing at the trailer court. The dog attacked and bit the child’s face. A number of surgeries were needed to correct the damage, according to the court filing.

In her general negligence claim, Burgi alleged East Winds and Blackburn had a duty as a landlord to protect K.B. from the attack or to warn him of the dog’s potential for violence.

The Supreme Court concluded East Winds owed no legal duty to K.B. while he was present on the dog owner’s property outside of a common area, and, in any event, East Winds had no knowledge of the dog’s temperament.