Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey pit bull bite victim loses lawsuit

He sought damages for injuries when a pit bull bit him while he was walking to a Whalley park when he was 15

A Surrey teenager who was severely bitten by a pit bull has lost his lawsuit against its alleged owners and the owners of the Whalley recovery home he claimed the dog ran at him from.

The plaintiff was Shaheer Ali, by his litigation guardian Muzafar Ali and defendants were Satjinder Samra, Ravinder Samra, Tim Johns and Ashley Perry.

The case was heard in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. Ali is 19, but was a minor when the lawsuit was commenced. He sought damages for injuries sustained when a pit bull bit him while he was walking from his home to a nearby park when he was 15.

The plaintiff asserted the dog attacked him after it ran from a property owned by the Samras and claimed they were liable for his injuries under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, or because of their negligence. Perry and Johns, the two defendants alleged to have owned the dog, did not file a response to the notice of civil claim or participate in the court proceedings.

The court heard Ali left his house on May 3, 2015 to meet some friends at a nearby school playground and was walking down an alley. When he reached the corner of 98A Avenue and 132A Street, the court heard, a brown pit bull ran towards him from 13232 98A. The house on the property was a rooming house for recovering heroin addicts.

“The plaintiff ran away from the dog but it jumped on him and bit him severely on the back and under an arm,” Justice Gregory Bowden noted in his reasons for judgment. “He had done nothing to provoke the dog.”

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP now confirm girl sustained ‘serious bite’ from pit bull in Clayton

READ ALSO: White Rock dog attack ‘left me bleeding and injured’

Bowden noted that one of the tenants from the property ran to Ali’s rescue, pulled the dog off of him, and Ali’s dad took him to the hospital. At the time of the attack, the property had been rented to Mona Farbeh (aka Mona Afshari) and there was a tenancy agreement between herself and Satinder Samra, signed on July 29, 2011, with Samra’s consent that she sublet rooms in the house to recovering drug addicts. The agreement specified that no pets were permitted.

The tenant who helped Ali, Jamie Ross Smith, testified that the dog that bit the boy was staying at the property at the time and he described it as an “unpredictable inbred pit bull.”

“He said that the dog was originally owned by a tenant, Mr. Palmer, but then became owned by other tenants, Tim Johns and Ashley Perry, who are defendants in this action, but have since been evicted,” the judge noted.

“According to his statement to the police, Mr. Smith said that Ashley Perry was looking after the dog at the time of the incident. Apparently, shortly after the incident, Ashley Perry left the property in a vehicle with the dog. There are a number of inconsistencies both internal and external in Mr. Smith’s evidence and I do not find it to be reliable.”

The Samras testified they never saw a dog on the property and were not aware of any tenant keeping one there.

Bowden dismissed Ali’s lawsuit. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act, he found the definition of “premises does not include an alley behind the premises that is not part of the property owned by the defendants.

“In my view the plaintiff’s claim under the OLA must fail because he was attacked on property that was not part of the premises nor in respect of which the Samras were occupiers,” Bowden found. Concerning the claim of negligence, he found that “while the Samra defendants may have had a duty of care in respect of the tenants of the property and to visitors on the property, in my view they do not owe a care of duty to a stranger walking by the property.”

The judge concluded that even if the Samras knew there was a dog in the building on the property, they didn’t know it was dangerous.

“In my view no special circumstances were present that would give rise to a duty of care by the owners of the property to a pedestrian on an adjoining alley,” Bowden decided. As for Johns and Perry, he found, “the evidence falls short of establishing that they owned the dog.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP are investigating a reported assault at Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Shane MacKichan photos)
UPDATE: Two youths arrested after assault with a weapon at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey

School placed on a ‘hold and secure’ until safety of all students confirmed

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey to pony up one-third of cost to cover Cloverdale lacrosse box in 2022

This will be at the Cloverdale Athletic Park at 64th Avenue and 168th Street

Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)
Mayor asks Fraser Health to reconcider North Delta vaccination site

Harvie wants a North Delta clinic to complement the South Delta location

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read