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  • another stupid lawsuit

    Watch where you step, folks....

    Tuesday, June 19, 2001

    Rocky Mount resident seeks $100,000 for knee injury

    'Dog slobber' at pet store caused her fall, woman says in lawsuit

    The lawsuit says the store's employees failed to warn shoppers of spittle.

    The Roanoke Times

    Add "dog slobber" to the list of slippery substances at the center of lawsuits.

    A load of canine saliva brought down a Rocky Mount woman shopping in the Roanoke PetsMart store, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Roanoke Circuit Court. Negligence by the store and its manager caused injuries worth at least $100,000, Mary Lee Sowder says in her suit.

    PetsMart is known as a store where shoppers can bring their leashed dogs in while they shop for pets, pet food, toys and other supplies.

    On Sept. 9, Sowder claims, manager Kelly Carruthers brought his "large canine" - age and breed unspecified - into the store at 4749 Valley View Blvd. N.W.

    Carruthers and store employees erred by creating conditions in which "said canine" left "a foreign substance identified as 'dog slobber' on the floor," and failing to warn shoppers of the offending spittle, the suit says.

    Sowder fell forward, landing on a kneecap and suffering ligament and tissue damage, said her Roanoke attorney, John Weber . Since then, she has had physical therapy and orthopedic treatment, and may require surgery, Weber said.

    Negligence suits over spilled drinks, suntan oils and the like are not unusual. A case of animal drool is "pretty unique," but the fluid itself is not the point, Weber said.

    "The issue is not as much what it was, as much as the fact that it wasn't supposed to be there, and that she was injured because of it," he said.

    PetsMart would not comment on whether it has faced similar actions or how many it has faced, company spokeswoman Esther Caceres said from PetsMart corporate offices in Phoenix. Company lawyers do not comment on pending lawsuits, she said.

    "I know that it is a big concern - because so many pets are walking there - to keep the floor clean so this doesn't happen," Caceres said. "We do have a pretty good system to try to keep up with the dogs that wander around in our store."

    Carruthers left PetsMart in October, store manager RANDY KING said. He could not be reached for comment.

  • #2
    And what are the odds that you might find that (and other slippery & less than savory substances) on the floors, I wonder?

    I'd say the store policy pretty much forces the consumer to make a decision to enter based on calculated risks. I hope to God they force this money grubbing moron to go to trial over this one!

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." --Gen. George S. Patton


    • #3
      I once took a header at K-Mart. The floor was slippery from rain but there were signs telling people that. THe K-Mart people couldn't have been modre wonderful and my insurance took care of my torn ligament. I had a torm ligament with no problems.


      • #4
        when i open my own store I'm gonna have everyone sign waver before enter..


        • #5
          One more reason to have an internet web site - at least you can't slip in - you surf. PetSmart is a big name store - now they are going to have to raise their prices to offset the law suit - people like that ruin things for all of us.

          We take a risk just going out the door. Good topic.

          [email protected]


          • #6
            Wait a minute here.. What if she had slipped on some water or other slippery substance? She hurt her knee. Speaking from a past knee injury, they aren't fun. Maybe this made her miss work. Perhaps she didn't have insurance to cover the costs. Doctors visits, MRI's, x-rays and surgery can be awfully expensive. I'm sure $100,000 would be ate up by doctors fees in no time.


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