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Braese v. Stinker Stores, Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho

October 29, 2014

RICHARD J. BRAESE, JR., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
STINKER STORES, INC., Defendant-Respondent, and BRYCE M. FULLER, Defendant

2014 Opinion No. 109.

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for Ada County. Hon. Lynn G. Norton, District Judge.

The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

William B. Seiniger, Seiniger Law Offices, Boise, argued for appellant.

James G. Reid, Kaufman Reid PLLC, Boise, argued for respondent.

EISMANN, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justice J. JONES, and J. Pro Tems WALTERS and KIDWELL CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 603

[157 Idaho 444] EISMANN, Justice.

This is an appeal out of Ada County from a judgment dismissing a claim that a store owner is liable for injuries caused by a dog that the store employee allowed to stay in the store with its owner. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

I.

Factual Background.

On August 6, 2011, Bryce M. Fuller entered a store of Stinker Stores, Inc., in the Hyde Park area of Boise with his golden retriever named Darma. The store is a combination gas station and convenience store. The store manager permitted customers to bring their dogs into the store because it was her understanding that other businesses in the Hyde Park area also allowed that and she did not want the store to be viewed negatively by the customers. The dog had on a collar and leash, but Mr. Fuller was not holding the leash while he was at the counter making a purchase. Initially, Mr. Fuller was standing facing the counter with the dog at his left side, but during the transaction Mr. Fuller turned so that his right side was next to the counter. When he did so, the dog remained in her position, which was sitting in front of Mr. Fuller and facing the counter.

At the beginning of the transaction, the dog raised up and put her front paws on the counter, and the cashier gave her a dog treat. Mr. Fuller's entire transaction took about two minutes, and during that time the dog, while sitting in front of Mr. Fuller, raised up and put her front paws on the counter six other times, apparently wanting another dog treat. The last time the dog raised up and put her front paws on the counter was at the completion of Mr. Fuller's transaction, and the cashier gave her another dog treat.

While Mr. Fuller was putting his change into his pocket and preparing to leave, Richard Braese walked into the store. The front door of the store was to Mr. Fuller's front, ...


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