Snakes at a Steakhouse?!

Snakes on a plane? Maybe. But snakes in a steakhouse? This probably isn’t something you would ever expect.

An Unexpected Visitor

When a real estate agent was visiting a Longhorn Steakhouse in Fredericksburg, Virginia, snakes weren’t on her mind, either. When she felt a sharp pain in her foot as she walked through the restaurant’s foyer, she assumed it was a sting from a hornet or wasp. But when the pain quickly grew excruciating, she looked down at her foot . . . and saw an 8-inch long copperhead!

The woman’s son and boyfriend were able to step on the snake, killing it. The woman went to the hospital, where she received potentially life-saving anti-venom shots. Still, she had to stay in the hospital for 11 days. She is also still experiencing a loss of mobility that is hindering her job and other daily duties.

There isn’t any word on how the snake got into the restaurant in the first place. Longhorn officials are calling it a highly unusual incident. The restaurant plans to look further into the incident, and will do what it can to prevent this from happening again.

Liability for Animal Bites

Longhorn Steakhouse is right — this is a very unique incident! But bites, ranging from dog bites to insect bites, do happen, oftentimes on someone else’s property. Generally, the property owner might be liable if they knew about the present danger of an animal, but failed to remedy the issue, or did not warn guests about the present danger. For example, if poisonous snakes are frequently spotted on a public beach, the beach should put up signs warning visitors of the potential danger.

It’s highly likely that Longhorn Steakhouse snake was an unforeseeable issue. It could have snuck in while the door was open, and bitten the woman before anyone noticed it. Of course, if the restaurant knew that the snake was inside, that is an entirely different issue.

Next time you go out for a meal, it’s probably safe to assume that you won’t be bitten by a snake! But as this story shows, anything can happen, and it’s always important to know your legal rights.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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