Delta Doberman’s owner out $2,000 after postal carrier sues for dog’s bite

Dog owner cleared of responsibility for first bite, but Canada Post worker awarded damages for pain and suffering for second bite two weeks later

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A Canada Post letter carrier sued the owner of a Delta Doberman named Rexx for $5,000 after being bitten twice by the dog while delivering mail.

It was the second bite that cost Rexx — or, more specifically, his owner Guriqbal Bains — though, with a $2,000 levy awarded to carrier Carl Aiple as a result of the March 2020 incidents.

The posties union called dog attacks and bites “a big concern,” even though the number has dropped since the pandemic started, to 70, about half the number from 2017, said Jan Simpson, Canadian Union of Postal Workers president in an email.

Canada Post includes in those stats only carriers who get help from a medical professional after a bite or scratch and “these statistics don’t tell the whole story,” he said.

They don’t include slip-and-falls when chased by a dog or the fear and anxiety of “repeated aggressive interactions,” he said.

The average of 600 to 800 dog incidents a year between employees and dogs jumped to 1,000 in 2019 and dropped slightly to 900 last year, Canada Post spokeswoman Valerie Chartrand said in an email.


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That ranges from encounters with threatening dogs to those that seriously injure employees, leading them to miss work, she said.

Rexx bit letter carrier Aiple on the left arm on March 10, 2020, while walking near Bains’s Delta home, and then on the left hand on March 23, 2020, after Bains lost control of the Doberman pinscher’s leash each time, according to a written decision by civil resolution tribunal member Richard McAndrew.

Bains told the tribunal his dog was provoked. He submitted 17 reference letters, video showing Rexx to be friendly and a “behaviour evaluation” saying the dog didn’t appear dangerous.

Before the first bite there was “insufficient evidence” Rexx had an aggressive history or that Bains knew about it, so McAndrew found Bains not responsible for that bite.

But McAndrew ruled Bains was liable for the second bite.

“Bains had a duty, knowing that Rexx had recently attacked Mr. Aiple on March 10, 2020, to restrain Rexx,” said McAndrew.

“It’s an isolated incident and it’s unfortunate that it happened,” said Manwar Bains, the owner’s son, on Tuesday. “He’s a gorgeous dog, he’s a great dog. He’s a large dog so he gets picked on. Our dog was provoked by this man.”

McAndrew said there was no evidence Aiple provoked the dog.

In determining “non-pecuniary damages,” which compensate for pain, suffering, disability and loss of enjoyment of life, he had to factor in Aiple’s age, nature of the injury, severity and duration of pain, disability, emotional suffering, loss or impairment of life, impairment of physical and mental abilities and stoicism.


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Aiple submitted a photo of puncture wounds on his hand and a medical report by a emergency room doctor and McAndrew concluded “Aiple has suffered pain.” But he said it wasn’t clear the pain was intense because pain wasn’t documented and there was no evidence of scarring or lasting injury.

Thus, McAndrew’s $2,000 award to Aiple.

“CUPW would like to remind dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash if they are outside in an area where a postal worker will need to access and to make sure screen doors are locked,” said Simpson.

Canada Post launched a video campaign to remind owners to keep their dogs a safe distance from posties and suggests being careful not to let the dog slip out when answering the door, keeping them in another room at time of delivery, keeping them inside, in a fenced yard or tied up, far from the front door or mailbox, or away from the screen door, even if locked.

Manwar Bains said Rexx is now always leashed and muzzled.

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