If my daughter was attacked and bitten by a dog in a grocery store parking lot, is the store liable?

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If my daughter was attacked and bitten by a dog in a grocery store parking lot, is the store liable?

My daughter was bitten and scratched by unknown dog while loading her groceries into her vehicle. She has 2 bite punctures to her left cheek and eye area. She was 40 miles from home when she called M\me and was very upset and in shock. I then notified the store by phone of the incident. I took her to the ER and she was treated and released. Can I sue the store for out of pocket expenses I encurred.

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question is, why would the store be liable? People and businesses are not automatically responsible for any and all injuries that occur on their property; instead, there must be fault. If the dog belonged to the store or an employee, then there might be a cause of action, since the store would have a duty to control any animals belonging to it or its staff. Or if the store had been warned that a dangerous dog was roaming around the parking lot and did not take any action (e.g. did not call the police or animal control), they would probaby be negligent and liable. But the store is not reponsible for some dog that just randomly wandered into the parking lot or which belonged to a customer, without some warning that the animal was there and was dangerous.


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