Our View: Gloria Robinette has really stepped in it this time

The SE Texas Record Sep. 13, 2013, 1:14pm

It’s understandable that a company might settle a frivolous lawsuit out of court rather than invest the time and money necessary to go to trial and run the risk of a judge or jury imposing an even heftier penalty, however unwarranted.  

When even victory in court promises to be more costly than settlement outside of it, what’s the point of fighting?

It’s hard to argue with that logic, and yet that’s exactly the kind of thinking that some plaintiffs and their attorneys rely on when they make dubious claims with the hope of being “persuaded” to drop them before trial begins.

The problem is, you get what you pay for, and companies that settle bogus lawsuits only invite more of them.

Ultimately, the best defense against settlement shakedowns is a reputation for resisting, whatever the cost.

Petco understands this, and Gloria Robinette will too when they finish with her lawsuit.

Gloria filed suit against the Beaumont Petco in Jefferson County District Court in April, seeking over $1 million in damages for injuries she claims to have sustained when she allegedly slipped in dog urine at Petco two years ago.

As regular customers know, Petco offers dog training, dog grooming, and dog vaccinations on the premises, as well as permitting pet owners to bring leashed animals into the store while shopping. Anyone who goes tramping through Petco without watching for puddles of puppy piddle, perhaps needs a leash, too.

Petco has answered Gloria’s lawsuit with a general denial and demand for strict proof.

It will be interesting to see what kind of evidence Gloria provides. Does she still have the urine-stained shoes she was wearing when she allegedly slipped? Can she prove that the urine is canine, and, if so, that the dog it allegedly came from was actually in Petco on the day of the accident?

If not, she’s all wet.

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