Hercules, CA asked in Personal Injury for California

Q: In California can a dog walker sue me if they ran into a pole while walking my dog, it was not the dogs fought.

The dog walker stated that it was not the dogs fault, as she was going to cross the street she went one way and the dog went the other way.

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4 Lawyer Answers
Eric Gene Young
Eric Gene Young
Answered
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To begin with, a person can sue another person for anything they want. The doors of the court are open to some of the most ridiculous claims imaginable, in California and in every other state. Having said that, however, it does mean the person who sues has a meritorious case. Based on the limited information you have provided, the only possible cause of action she might have would be for negligence, which requires that she establish that you owed a duty of care to prevent her harm and that your unreasonable action or inaction breached that duty. What duty does a dog owner owe a dog walker? You probably have a duty to warn if a dog is dangerous. But, beyond that, do you owe a duty to prevent a dog walker from walking into a pole while she is in charge of your dog. Not likely. There is simply no duty or breach of duty on these facts. California follows the doctrine of "occupational assumption of the risk." A person who knowingly undertakes an occupation that comes with certain risks assumes them, and you owe no duty to prevent their harm. You could argue that walking a dog involves caring for an animal that might suddenly act in an unpredictable manner - dogs pull at their leads, tug, jump, turn, and go in different directions. Think how often even the most well-mannered dog (I have 2) suddenly runs off in a different direction simply because it sees a cat or a squirrel. In my opinion, a dog walker assumes the risk of injury caused by such unpredictability in an animal and, furthermore, they should be attentive to their surroundings, which would include poles at street crossings.

William John Light and Tim Akpinar agree with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered

A: The average juror would probably be likely to question why the dog walker was not more attentive to the surroundings.

Tim Akpinar

William John Light agrees with this answer

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's hard to see how you would be liable, but you should notify your renter or homeowner's insurance of the potential claim.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: anybody can sue anyone at any time for anything.

the more important question is whether s/he would win?..........i think not

it might fall under workers comp ie any injury occurring while one was working.................however i do not handle WC.

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