Sunday 8 May 2011

Das Hund ist nicht bedrohlich!

Another bizarre case picked up on Lowering the Bar. A shopper tries to sue a supermarket for damages arising from their failure to alert her to the risk of another shopper's 4-month old Dachshund puppy, which was supposed somehow to have scared her into falling into a freezer. Incredulously the jury and original trial judge upheld the complaint. Mercifully the Mississippi Court of Appeal (Penny Pinchers v Lenetra Outlaw) overturned the first instance award, saying:
"We must also consider that Sophie was a four-pound puppy at the time of the incident. Outlaw admitted that, when she heard the bark, she never turned to look at the dog. Instead, she started running toward the back of the store. She further admitted that she began to laugh when she finally saw that such a small dog had caused her to run into the freezer. While we agree with Outlaw that it is possible that the presence of a dog inside a grocery store could create a dangerous condition, the facts that she presented at trial do not prove that a dangerous condition existed here."

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