Surrey man loses lawsuit against city for dog’s broken leg

Greyhound fell in hole on a City of Surrey pathway in 2014.

A man whose dog broke its leg when it fell into a hole on a Surrey path has lost a legal bid to have the City of Surrey pay the vet bills.

Tomas Lichy was walking the family dog, Knightley, on a cycle path at night beneath the SkyTrain tracks near University Drive and 105A Street in October 2014 when the dog fell in a hole in the pavement. The 35-kilogram greyhound suffered an abrasion to his chin as well as the broken limb.

Lichy sued the city in small claims court, saying it was negligent in its inspection of the path, asking for about $2,700 to cover veterinarian bills and another $200 for legal filing and service fees.

The hole was one where a bollard blocking vehicles would usually be placed. The city’s acting manager for roads and drainage (north) testified, telling the judge how many inspectors the city has and how frequently each sector of the neighbourhood is inspected. He also noted such bollards and their brass locks are sometimes stolen and sold for the metal content.

In her Feb. 22 decision, B.C. Provincial Court Judge Kathryn Ferriss said the city’s policies and decision-making appeared reasonable.

“There is no evidence that the City was instrumental in removing the bollard and failing to replace it,” wrote Ferriss in dismissing Lichy’s claim, adding there was also no evidence work crews had been there at the time, that inspections were done improperly or that workers failed to notice the bollard was missing.


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