Matthew B. Troutman
The Attacking Goose - When a Business Owner Owes the duty to Warn a Customer of Danger on their Property.
A customer arrives at a place of business to go shopping in that business and before the customer arrives on
the property, the owner becomes aware that there are geese on the property that are attacking customers and
otherwise acting aggressively toward them. Geese are not known for their aggressive behavior toward humans
so that anyone encountering the geese would be concerned when encountering them in the parking lot of the
business. What should be the responsibility of the business owner in this situation.
Kentucky law provides that a business owner, or anyone who owns property, owes a duty to anyone invited on
to the premises to provide a reasonably safe place for the visitor. If the owner is aware of any dangerous
conditions on the property that are not obvious then the owner must either remove the danger or warn the
visitors of the danger. If the owner fails to do so, the owner is responsible for the injuries caused to the visitor.
In the matter of the attacking goose, if the owner fails to remove the geese or warn the customers that the
geese are acting aggressively toward humans, then the owner bears responsibility for any injuries caused by
the attacking geese. It is important for business owners and anyone that owns real property to be aware of any
dangers on their property (intentional ignorance of apparent dangers will not protect the owner) and to remove
them or warn any invited guests of the dangers. This duty does not apply to trespassers and it does not apply
to dangers that are obvious to the average person.