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Federal Court Grants Motion to Dismiss on Claim Alleging Landlord Liability for Tenant’s Off-Property Conduct

January 2017

Jim Dieterich and Dmitry Vilner recently obtained a complete dismissal of all claims against their client in federal court.  In an undoubtedly tragic case, the plaintiff was a motorist driving down I-76 when his minivan collided with a runaway horse.  The plaintiff’s wife was killed in the accident.  The horse’s owner had been riding the horse in a ditch along the highway when the horse bucked him and ran off.  After the accident, the plaintiff sued not just the horse’s owner, but also Jim and Dmitry’s client, the landlord from whom the owner rented a living space.  Jim and Dmitry successfully argued that their client could not be held legally responsible for the accident because it did not owe a duty of care to third parties, like the plaintiff, for activities conducted by its tenant off of the property.

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