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Premises liability: Customer bitten by snake at store

At this time of year, people in Massachusetts and across the country often flock to home improvement stores as they work to maintain their yards and houses. Unfortunately, a recent incident in the outdoor sections of an out-of-state Lowe's may leave some customers questioning their safety while shopping. The incident could ultimately lead to a premises liability claim.

The fire department who responded to the scene claimed that an employee had been bitten by a copperhead, a poisonous snake. However, a spokesperson for Lowe's Companies Inc. has stated that it was actually a customer. The bite reportedly happened in the outdoor section of the lawn and garden center.

While it is unclear how the snake got there, it was apparently in a tree in the center. Officials say that a search was conducted, and no other snakes were found. The identity and condition of the injured customer is unclear.

When customers enter a store, they likely do so with the assumption that they will be safe from harm while inside, including in contained outdoor sections of the store. Negligence that results in harm could lead to a premises liability lawsuit. A successfully presented case could result in an award of damages that will help victims ensure their medical needs are met and compensate them for loss of wages if their injuries prevent them from working while they recover. An initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney could be the first step for those in Massachusetts suffering as a result of a negligent property owner to better understand their legal options.

Source: greensboro.com, "Copperhead snake in tree bites customer at N.C. home improvement store", May 17, 2016

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