When you are out and about, the last thing you want to worry about is a rogue dog in a store or a product that doesn't quite live up to its reputation. Unfortunately, people are injured every year because of negligence from business owners and managers. If you’ve been in this situation, learn about two ways a business can be liable for your injuries.
1. Sell You Unsafe Products
Whether you visit a restaurant, a clothing store, or a makeup boutique, every establishments is responsible for providing you with products that won't inadvertently hurt you or your family members. According to federal law, businesses and manufactures have the responsibility of protecting their customers from defective product.
Design defects include issues that should have been addressed before the item was manufactured, like a toy that is inherently dangerous, structurally unstable chairs, or objects meant for children that contain tiny components that could act as choking hazards.
Manufacturing defects apply to products that are typically safe, but due to negligence on the manufacturer's part, have become unsafe in large batches. For instance, if you are eating at a restaurant that purchased unsafe pre-packaged foods from a food supplier, the resulting foodborne illness could be the result of a manufacturing defect.
Marketing defects revolve around the product manufacturer's duty to issue notices like safety hazards and use requirements. For instance, if you pick up a kitchen tool on display and it isn't properly labeled as dangerous — to prevent cuts from the blade — a marketing issue may be at fault.
If you are hurt by evaluating products in a store, using them at home, or eating in a restaurant, the business who sold you the goods or service may be held liable for your injuries. Always document any injury you sustain very carefully by taking pictures, recording the instance in a journal, and discussing the issue with an attorney who specializes in product liability.
2. Don’t Enforce Pet Rules
You may love animals, but when it comes to encountering other pets in public, issues can abound. Because some animals can carry disease, bite others, or create unsanitary situations for shoppers, local health departments have set rules about where pets can be in a variety of establishments.
For instance, while service animals are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, most pets typically aren't allowed inside of restaurants or eateries. However, animals are usually allowed outdoors on patios.
Bars and breweries aren't allowed to let animals inside unless food is pre-packaged, but for offices and retail spaces the business owner or landlord can decide whether to allow pets in their businesses.
However, since all businesses are required to provide a safe environment for their guests, allowing animals to run freely, bite customers, or make messes could be grounds for a premises negligence case or a dog bite injury lawsuit.
Additionally, since allergies can be considered a disability, you may be protected under disability laws if a business allows a pet inside, and you are unable to finish your meal or complete your shopping trip.
If you have concerns about pets, ask the business owner or manager about their policy, and make your concerns known if you have any. If you are injured by a pet brought into the business, ask the company to document the instance, and make sure to get the information of the owner for your lawyer.
If you have endured a personal injury and have questions, our team is happy to help. Here at Marienfeld Law, PLLC, we provide legal consultations with experienced attorneys, helping people choose the proper course of action for their specific situation.