Is A Business Liable For Dog Bites?
People are starting to treat their dogs like children, bringing them everywhere they go. Dog owners think their dogs are well-behaved in public, but they’re really not.
Dog attacks happen more often than you think. These dogs are frequenting restaurants, coffee shops, and retail establishments, biting customers. In many cases, businesses are getting blamed and even sued for these dog attacks.
A Starbucks is getting sued for a dog attack that happened a few years ago at a Starbucks in Alabama. In May 2019, a 5-year-old child was bitten by a customer’s dog. The girl tried to pet a customer’s dog and was attacked, suffering permanent nerve damage, cuts to her face, and permanent scars.
The girl’s mother filed a lawsuit, claiming that Starbucks should be held liable because it allowed dogs on the premises. It also did not require leashes or post notices informing customers that dogs would be present.
Starbucks filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that Starbucks Corporation does not have an obligation to defend customers from dog attacks. In addition, Starbucks alleges that the woman and her daughter knew the dog owner.
Starbucks claims that the dog owner should be held liable. Is the company right? Where does one draw the line when it comes to dog attacks in public?
Typically, business owners will be held liable if a dog bite occurs on their premises. This is true when the dog is owned by an employee or customer. However, the dog owner and property owner could also be sued. A lawsuit can have multiple parties.
What Can Companies Do?
Many companies allow employees to bring dogs to work. While employees enjoy this perk, employers need to understand the risks. Not all dogs are friendly. Even the nicest dog can act differently around strangers. This can lead to aggression and attacks. Because of this, businesses need to have policies in place to keep everyone safe.
Posting signs alerting customers to the presence of dogs can be helpful but will not prevent all incidents of attacks. Try to keep dogs away from the public while in the office. Overall, avoid the risk of a dog attack as much as possible and be transparent with customers, vendors, and anyone else who will be on the premises.
It’s especially imperative that businesses take proper precautions around children. Dogs are often more anxious around children, and children are often more wary of dogs. Because of these factors, a dog bite claim involving a child will result in more compensation.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
With more and more people bringing their dogs everywhere, dog bite cases will surely increase. This opens up liability issues for individuals and businesses.
If you or a loved one was injured in a dog bite case, seek legal help from the Morristown dog bite injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. We can help you understand your options. Schedule a free consultation with our office today. Fill out the online form or call (973) 455-1567.