Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This is a dog of a lawsuit


By The Pennsylvania Record | Feb 25, 2019


It would be nice if the world were full of puppies and, wherever you went, doors opened for you.

In such a world, it’d be pretty hard to stay in a bad mood. Many arguments could become a thing of the past, leading to some withering of our civil justice system.

But that’s not the case with Janeen Gismondo, who fell down in a pet store filled with puppies. When she got up, she went looking for someone to blame.

Gismondo and her lawyer Christopher Apessos filed a lawsuit in Pittsburgh that’s doggone ridiculous. They say she was at a Petland store when she spotted a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier puppy inside a fenced-in area.

An employee waved to invite her to play with the puppy. But the knee-high fence proved too difficult to step over, and she fell backwards, injuring her wrist, the lawsuit says.

There should have been a gate for her, she says. Her lawsuit calls the fence, which keeps dogs from running around the store, “a dangerous, defective, hazardous and unsafe condition.”

A judge might call it an “open and obvious” condition, a preferred defense for companies facing these lawsuits. Clear liquid on a floor is hard to spot. A knee-high fence isn’t.

If you think it’s unsafe to step over a fence without a gate, don’t try. Just sit, and stay. Good.

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