Woman has a dog of a day in court
Sydney - If you have a phobia about dogs and hurt yourself running away from one, is it your own fault or should the owner of the dog pay compensation?
An Australian judge on Wednesday ruled against a woman who had put that case to him and ordered her to pay substantial legal costs.
Mileva Novakovic took her brother, Michael Stekovic, and his wife to the New South Wales Court of Appeal to try to overturn a lower court verdict that found they were not liable for injuries she sustained at his house in 2008.
Novakovic slipped and fell in a panic over finding a dog in their lounge room. She admitted to a fear of dogs and said she was compelled to run despite Cougar, a mastiff, showing no aggression towards her.
"I do not accept that the respondents ought to have foreseen that an entrant might have a general fear of dogs," the judge said in his ruling.
"In my view, the primary judge was entitled to conclude in those circumstances that it was not incumbent on the respondents to foresee that there was a risk that the appellant would, upon seeing the dog in the house, fear it and run from the house in panic."