Who Let the Dog Loose!? Sue ! Sue ! Sue!

By: Michael Seinberg

The Shake Shack, a well-known burger and hot dog chain in New York City, is being sued by a woman angry about their flimsy chairs. But she didn’t fall from one or break one sitting down. No, Cindy Cirlin is suing because she claims she was injured by a dog that was tied to one of said chairs.  Important, but perhaps not necessary to note, is that the dog is not owned by Shake Shack.

The Shake Shack has 17 locations, seven in NYC, and the alleged incident took place at the trendy Upper East Side location on East 86th Street. According to court papers, the Shake Shack, “Was negligent in its failure to protect [Cirlin] from the anticipated dangers of allowing dogs to be attached by leashes to its flimsy and unanchored chairs.” For non-Shack fans, the chain has always been very dog friendly, even offering free dog biscuits to its canine patrons and their humans. Thus, Cirlin contends they should have been more proactive in protecting non-canine patrons.

The interesting thing about the case is that Cirlin is seeking $2 million from Shake Shack, not from the dog or its human owner. This is obviously another case of a plaintiff and lawyer (whose identity has not been noted in any news accounts) who are homing in like Bloodhounds on the deepest pockets they can sniff out. You can bet that if the offending dog had been owned by someone wealthy or famous, they’d be in the hot seat.

Common sense would suggest that a well-known chain that is publicly dog friendly would cause two legged patrons to be a bit more aware of their surroundings. What inquiring minds want to really know is whether the dog was after Cirlin’s lunch, Cirlin herself, or the cute Yorkie at the next table.

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