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PetSmart, Inc. v. District Court

Court: Supreme Court of Nevada

Citation: 137 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 75

Opinion Date: December 9, 2021

Judge: Silver

Areas of Law: Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

The Supreme Court held that a pet store may not be held liable under tort law where a dog adopted at the store through an adoption event conducted by an independent charitable organization later attacks and injures an individual if the pet store did not assume a duty of care or have an agency relationship with the charitable organization that conducted the adoption event.

James Todd was attacked by a dog adopted by his wife two days before from an independent pet-rescue organization holding an adoption event at a PetSmart store. The Todds sued PetSmart, among other defendants, for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and respondent superior. The district court denied PetSmart’s motion for summary judgment, holding that PetSmart owed a duty to the Todds as a matter of law. The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus sought by PetSmart, holding that PetSmart did not owe a duty of care to the Todds as a matter of law and that there was no genuine issue of fact regarding any alleged agency relationship between PetSmart and the charitable organization.

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