Visitor Question

Grocer’s Liability for Dog Bones?

Submitted By: Sherry (Stillman Valley, IL)

I purchased a package of round bones, packaged and labeled “bones for dogs” on the grocers own label.

He ate the center out of it like normal.

After the fact it got caught on his lower jaw and we had to take him to the vet to have it cut off.

My question:

Is the grocer liable for the accident?

I had no idea that could even happen.

There were no “warning” or “caution” labels on the packaging.

I spent $181.00 to get this thing removed.

My dog had to be put to sleep for the procedure and kept overnight.

If I had not been home, he could have choked to death.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Sherry,

Technically the grocer could be liable…but that possibility is quite remote.

Bones are bones, and they aren’t inherently dangerous, especially not deadly.

A good comparison would be a bag of pretzels. They aren’t inherently dangerous in and of themselves, but if one gets stuck in someone’s throat and that person chokes and possibly dies, the grocer who sold the pretzels could be technically liable…President George W. Bush almost suffocated after a pretzel became lodged in his throat.

There are many items in our daily lives which by themselves aren’t inherently dangerous, but which in the most unlikely ways can sometimes result in bodily injury or death.

That premise can be extended almost ad infinitum with thousands of products.

If every item which carried even a remote possibility of causing bodily injury or death was taken off the market, it would be virtually impossible to get through the day.

If you want to sue the grocer you can, but you probably won’t prevail.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 4, 2012

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