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Court rules landlord not liable in dog attack

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A landlord can’t be held liable as the owner of his tenants’ dogs for multiple injuries they inflicted on a woman, according a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling.

According to court documents, George Kontos allowed his daughter and her family to live on his Winnebago County property with their dogs. In June 2008 the dogs attacked Julie Augsburger.

Augsburger sued, alleging Kontos was liable for her injuries. A judge ruled Kontos was the dogs’ owner under state law and could be held liable. An appeals court affirmed that ruling.

But the Supreme Court reversed the appeals court Friday in a 6-1 decision. Justice Anne Walsh Bradley wrote Kontos didn’t own the dogs because he didn’t live on the property and didn’t control them.

Augsburger’s attorney had no immediate comment.

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