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Virginia Man Sues After Slipping in Dog Poop

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Why do I have a feeling this will be the end of PetSmart allowing dogs in their stores?

— Kenn


A Virginia man slips and falls in dog feces at a PetSmart in Newport News, and is now suing the store for $1 million.

Robert Holloway claims he went to the store in January 2009 to pick up some bird seed and dog food when he slipped on a pile of dog poop and fell. He said he badly injured his back, struck his head and knocked out four teeth.

Holloway filed the lawsuit against the company in U.S. District Court. In it, he said that PetSmart and its employees “negligently allowed animals to enter the premises and deposit feces in such a manner as to create a dangerous and hazardous condition.”

Holloway’s attorney said his client couldn’t see the poop because it blended in with the floor, and when he stepped in it, his body twisted violently and he smacked his head.

Holloway, who was 69 at the time, had to have back surgery. His attorney admits he had a pre-existing back problem but claims the fall made it worse.

PetSmart denies any negligence, but admits that pet accidents are an everyday occurance because leashed pets are welcome visitors in the store. A company spokesperson said employees are trained to clean up pet messes and customers are encouraged to clean up after their pets as well. Every store has a clearly marked “oops” station full on cleaning supplies. The spokesperson said it’s a pet store and that accidents happen.

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12 years ago

I'm sympathetic to Mr. Holloway's pain, but I'm also confused. Most animal poop is some shade of brown. Most PetSmart store floors I've seen are some shade of grey, off white or–at most–beige. (YMMV.) Is the Newport News store a unique exception? I wear bifocals–is it possible Mr. Holloway does too and that's how he missed the pile? In any event, my Malamute will be very upset if she can't see her friends at PetSmart any more…


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