Man Sues PetSmart Store For $1 Million After Slipping On Dog Poop

PetSmart is facing a negligence lawsuit over an injury but the real culprit fled the scene on all fours. Robert Holloway, 69, went to PetSmart for bird seed and dog food and slipped on a pile of dog poop. The accident cost him four teeth and a back injury. However, they were four false teeth. He is suing for $1 million.

Holloway didn’t actually fall but rather says that he twisted his body and hit his false teeth on an object.

PetSmart has insisted in its answer that customers know that pets are welcomed at its stores and that these accidents are a common reality.

Generally, stores are obligated to make reasonable efforts at inspection and to make safe conditions in a store for business invitees. Holloway insists that it was negligent to allow “animals to enter the premises and deposit feces in such a manner as to create a dangerous and hazardous condition.” He further alleges that the staff should have detected the poop and cleaned it up before he took the fall. To make matters worse, he insists that this particular dog produced poop that blended into this particular color of floor tile.

He has a strong case under existing law. While the false teeth raise some interesting question, he is also claiming a back injury that required surgery. He admits that he had a pre-existing injury but insisted that the twisting made it worse.

The claim presents an interesting flip side to the recent Canadian case where an attorney was awarded damages for a fall in a bar despite that fact that she had a later accident that aggravated her condition. She claimed that, “but for” the fall, she would not have received such serious injuries in the car accident. Here Holloway is suing on the basis of the later accident as opposed to the pre-existing condition.

PetSmart succeeded in having the case transfered from the Norfolk court to the federal court — presumably under diversity jurisdiction.

The store is following the same course as a lawsuit in 2008 when it was sued for a slip and fall on dog urine. U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Friedman dismissed that lawsuit on the grounds that the female plaintiffs could not show that any store employee knew there was urine on the floor. That would appear to downplay the need for reasonable inspections under common law.

Source: Hampton Roads

Jonathan Turley

31 thoughts on “Man Sues PetSmart Store For $1 Million After Slipping On Dog Poop”

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  3. To anyone that feels pets smart is liable, please open your eyes you r the reason for the down fall of our country, just keep cashing your welfare checks

  4. Thanks to this idiot we will all pay higher prices @ pet smart, any one with half a brain knows that dogs have accidents at the store and should use caution, I would love to have a slip and fall outside this jerks house and get a million from him but I’m not that kind of person, it’s people like this that are the downfall of this country

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  7. I’d like to share Monty’s story to bring awareness of the symptoms that may cause fluid in lungs due to a stressful situation. Please take precautions when shopping for a groomer & Vet.
    (Please share this story with family & friends, FBook that are pet owners)
    I write this in loving memory of my baby Monty, who I was blessed to have with me for his short 14 weeks of life. I hesitantly got Monty after losing my Jack Russell, Rex, who was 14 years old, this past April. It was love at first sight with Monty. He fulfilled a lot of the loneliness in my life. Monty was full of life: cheerful, playful, and he brought lots of laughter to all who met him. Wanting to pamper him after being such a well behaved puppy, I took him to PETSMART(San Antonio, TEXAS) to get his first grooming this past Sunday, September 23, 2012. Evidently, this would be last visit as well. We experienced the following:
    During the grooming process, he became very frightened and yelped continuously when his ear hair was plucked. The groomer reported stopping and when her attempts to sooth him did not work, took him to the back room. When it was clear that he was showing signs of severe distress- heavy breathing and “loopy”, he was rushed to Banfield (the clinic within PETSMART) and started on oxygen therapy.
    The vet at Banfield then informed me that Monty was being transported to a pet ER because they were closing. He was transported by two groomers with NO portable oxygen to the ER. The transport took approximately 10 minutes. Once there, the vets on duty responded accordingly with x-rays, lab work, and oxygen therapy. He was diagnosed with fluid in the lungs. The emergency vet stated that Monty needed lots of oxygen for a period of 24-48 hours to begin with. My heart was breaking when I saw him in the oxygen tank, barely noticing me. Within 7 or so hours from the time I took him for his grooming, my Monty was gone……my heart did break then.
    I tell you all this so that you are aware of the danger that can occur at any time to your pets at grooming places. It’s not just about assigning blame, but of safety for your beloved animals. A huge chain like PETSMART should have portable oxygen available. They should have been more concerned with providing immediate care for Monty and not that it was closing time and pawn him off site.
    Hope this story saves puppies! This is my way to start coping with my loss. Thank you to my friends that were with me during this ordeal, and thank you all for your sympathies since learning of Monty’s joining Rex in doggie heaven.

  8. Isnt’ this ironic. I was in petsmart this week and an kid (looked to be in his late teens) came in with a very large dog. This dog was pulling this owner along uncontroled and the owner was in no way trying to keep control the dog. He was even laughing and carring on as he went down the isles.

    I walk with a cane,so you may see where this is going. I walk very slow and was headed to the back of the store to pick up my poodle in the groomers section of Petsmart. All of a sudden this dog came up behind and his paws went under my feet knocking me into a gondola. I let out a small scream and I had to grab on to the shelf to keep from falling but my leg which has a grion injury now has a grion – hip problem. I had to limped over to the bench in front of the groomers office and sat down. Mind you, the dog owner just passed me by with no “can I be of help” and the girls in the vet area and customers never offered to help either. But they did look up when I screamed and watch me as I was knocked into the gondola and as I limped my way to a seat. I sat there trying to get someone to get the name of the dog owner and no one answered me or even acknowledged my request.

    I sat there and finally a store employee came by me and I stopped him. He said he was the store manager. I explained the situation and although he apoligized he said he could not give me the name and information of the dog owner. He did not fill out an incident report or even walk me to my car. I had to call the corporate office to get them to file an incident report and then they refused to give me a copy. And their corporate employee even asked me for my social security number. I asked for a copy of the store tape and they refused. I would like them to pay my medical bills but corporate said they are not responsible but they would review everything and make determination. I am 66 years old and on a fixed income can’t afford these high doctor bills. To make it worse a lawyer told me I don’t have a case. I don’t know how this fella is able to sue but I sure would like to know. Please say a prayer for me.

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