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3-year-old boy attacked by dog inside of Murrieta Lowes store

It seems that more and more stores and retail locations in Los Angeles are allowing customers to bring dogs inside of their stores these days. While many would say that is the only humane thing to do as more people have started traveling with their dogs and leaving them inside of their vehicles could potentially be dangerous, what's overlooked in these situations are the potential liability concerns. Should an incident occur between a dog and a guest, could a store be held liable for allowing the dog on the premises in the first place?

This question could potentially be put to the test following a dog attack that happened inside of a Lowes store in Murrieta. A 3-year-old boy required over 50 stitches to repair wounds to his face and neck after he was bitten by another customer's Akita. The boy had apparently asked to pet the dog. Following the attack, the dog's owner fled the scene with his animal. After being later located by police, he revealed that he feared that his animal would be taken from him had he stayed. Ultimately, that happened anyway, as the dog was placed in quarantine in a local shelter.

While it's unknown at this point if the owner will face criminal and/or civil charges, one might wonder what liability Lowes has in this incident given that they allow dogs in their stores. If and when cases involving animal bites such as this one occur, victims may be entitled to press from compensation from such places whose policies they believe allowed the attack to happen. Proving such liability may require working with an experienced attorney who understands such liability issues. 

Source: New York Daily News "Dog attacks 3-year-old boy in California Lowe's, owner flees the scene" Joe Kemp, Dec. 30, 2013 

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