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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100052
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I own a pet grooming shop. On 10/10/14 one of my bathers was

Customer Question

I own a pet grooming shop. On 10/10/14 one of my bathers was bit by a dog and it got infected and she ended up in the hospital getting treated for it. I paid her $100 a week until she came back to work to help her out although I don't feel I was obligated. Taking a position where you know you deal with dogs and they're not all nice, you will have a biter now and then. Now she says she has no use of that finger and has a hospital bill of around $1600 to pay and she wants me to pay her $500 so she can put a down payment on a vehicle. She sent me the bill but told me she wants me to pay her so it can go towards her down payment. She says she will call us even after that. Do I have a leg to stand on.
Also, after that incident, I made up a release of liability form for all employees to sign upon starting work here stating this is part of this job that they assume things like this can happen and that they should carry their own insurance to cover themselves. She did sign this form, but it was after the incident.
Should I go ahead and pay her the $500? I feel like she is blackmailing me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation.

1) Unless the employer has somehow failed to keep the employee safe by using reasonable precaution when asking that the dogs be bathed (such as a harness, etc), then the employee is not liable.

2) I am not sure whether this person was an employee or a contractor, and how or if workman's compensation would apply since I do not know what kind of arrangement the bather had with the business.

3) However, this is not how it works. If she has a claim, she would formally file it. Asking for money on and off from the business for a questionable claim that was never formally filed is improper, and the business paying her money would only be encouraging her to keep asking for more. Someone in your situation may wish to simply NOT pay her, or, enter into an agreement where she gets a sum, but in exchange, agrees to sign away all rights to sue or seek relief against the business in writing. This way, it would be the end of it. Let me know if you need such a sample letter.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!