Cummings v Grainger: CA 1977

An untrained Alsatian dog was turned loose in a scrap-yard to deter intruders. The dog seriously injured the plaintiff who had entered the yard.
Held: The requirements of section 2(2) were satisfied but the defendant was entitled to rely upon the trespasser defence provided by section 5. The dog had characteristics not normally found in Alsatian dogs except in circumstances where they are used as guard dogs. These were ‘particular circumstances’ within section 2(2)(b). Such an animal is behaving dangerously but it is doing so in a manner characteristic of its species in the circumstances.
Lord Denning MR: ‘This is a case of a barmaid who was badly bitten by a big dog’

Lord Denning MR, Ormrod and Bridge LJJ
[1977] QB 397
Animals Act 1971 2 5
England and Wales
Cited by:
ApprovedMirvahedy v Henley and Henley CA 21-Nov-2001
Horses with no abnormal characteristics were panicked, ran out and collided with a car. The car driver sought damages.
Held: The question was not whether the animals betrayed abnormal characteristics of which the owners should have been aware, . .
CitedMirvahedy v Henley and another HL 20-Mar-2003
The defendants’ horses escaped from the field, and were involved in an accident with the claimant’s car.
Held: The defendants were liable under section 2(2). To bolt was a characteristic of horses which was normal ‘in the particular . .
Dictum appliedCurtis v Betts CA 1990
The defendant owned a bull mastiff dog. It was known to react fiercely when protecting its territory. The plaintiff, a child, had known the dog since it was a puppy, and approached as the dog was about to be put into a car. The dog bit his face . .
CitedWelsh v Stokes and Another CA 27-Jul-2007
The claimant sued a riding stables after she was badly injured on being thrown from the horse provided. Her claim in negligence failed, but she succeeded under strict liabiilty under the 1971 Act, after the judge relied upon hearsay evidence.
CitedFreeman v Higher Park Farm CA 30-Oct-2008
The claimant fell from a horse hired to her by the defendant. She claimed for her injuries, and appealed rejection of her claim in strict liability under the 1971 Act. The horse was known to be lively and occasionally to buck, but the claimant was a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Animals, Personal Injury

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.180024