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Redditor Balks After Friend Demands They Pay For Her Shoulder Surgery After Tripping Over Dog

A dog lying on its back on the ground.
Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

Needing to pay a visit to the hospital is never fun.

Making the matter even less fun, on top of waiting, needles, exams, and possibly scary results, are the bills.

Thankfully, most people have insurance that will cover all or most of a hospital visit.

Some people aren’t so lucky, and will often go to great lengths to find alternatives to paying a medical bill.

Even sometimes going so far as to try to pin it on someone else.

A friend of Redditor Terrible_Record5099 recently found herself in the hospital after a park visit with the original poster (OP) and another friend.

Making matters worse, it turned out this friend wouldn’t just need a bandage and some ice, but surgery.

When it came time to pay the bill, this friend came to decide that the OP was responsible for her injury, and thus should also pay the bills.

Something the OP vehemently refuted on both counts.

Wondering if they were wrong and were, in fact, responsible, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not paying hospital bills after my friend tripped over my dog?”

The OP explained why their friend felt they were responsible for paying her medical bills, and why they wholeheartedly disagreed:

“Yesterday my friends and I were hanging out in the park: me + my dog, my friend Cathy + her dog, and another friend Jenny.”

“Jenny was walking Cathy’s dog, and they were walking ahead of us.”

“Cathy was walking a bit behind me and my dog.”

“Cathy decided that she wanted to catch up with Jenny, so she started running from behind me.”

“As Cathy ran past me and my dog, she fell and tripped.”

“We thought it was a minor injury but it turns out she dislocated her shoulder and needs surgery.”

“Cathy says that while she was running past us, my dog suddenly ran toward her and she tripped over my dog.”

“Honestly I didn’t see clearly how exactly she tripped.”

“I couldn’t tell if my dog actually ran into her or if she tripped over my dog on her own.”

“My dog didn’t make a sound and didn’t seem bothered.”

“Jenny also said she couldn’t tell.”

“Cathy wants me to pay her hospital bills because she says it’s my dog’s fault that she tripped.”

“But I feel like it’s unfair of her to ask this.”

“If my dog had bit her or attacked her, obviously that’d be a different story and I would 100% pay all the medical bills.”

“But in this instance, Jenny and I are both unsure of whether my dog ran into Cathy, whether Cathy tripped over my dog, or whether Cathy tripped by herself near my dog.”

“Cathy started running from behind me so I didn’t have a clear view of what happened.”

“The money isn’t a big deal, but out of principle, I don’t want to pay the bills because I feel like this isn’t my fault.”

“Btw my dog is a corgi, so pretty small.”

“Not big enough to knock anyone over, but you could definitely trip if he ran into you while you were running.”

“Cathy is my coworker.”

“We’ve been hanging out more so I started to think of her as my friend.”

“But we are coworkers, we work together in the same small-ish office, which also makes things a little more awkward.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here

The Reddit community overwhelmingly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to pay Cathy’s medical bills.

Everyone agreed that this was clearly an accident, which neither the OP nor their dog were responsible for, with others pointing out that if Cathy did, indeed, trip over the OP’s Corgi, then the dog likely would have suffered an injury as well.

“Accidents are why one has health insurance.”


“Also, keep in mind that if you consent to pay, you may open up a Pandora’s box of issues – lingering pain in the future, physical rehabilitation, pain and suffering, etc.”- MountMiso


“This was ALL Cathy’s fault.”

“SHE came from behind, so you could not see her.”

“And SHE was the one running into your dog.”

“Don’t pay.”

“She was negligent, and injured herself.”- Excellent-Count4009


“She’s being ridiculous and I’d strongly consider dropping her as a friend all together.”-StonewallBrigade21


“Your dog is a corgi, herding breed, someone wants to run past the dog.”

“Well obviously the dog may decide to start to run to.”

“Dogs are simple creatures.”

“You run, they run.”

“She needs to get a life and accept she’s a klutz and should probably not be running.”- Exotic-Army4006


“If she had run into you she surely wouldn’t expect you to pay her bills right?”- Kitastrophe8503


“Without some evidence to support her claim, how can you be responsible?”- nyoprinces


“But since you mention in your edit she’s a co-worker, loop in your manager ASAP.”

“Get ahead of the narrative.”- throwaway1975764

“I’m not seeing how you’re responsible for Cathy tripping.”

“Even if your dog did run in front of her…. she’s a dog owner!”

“She knows that’s what they do.”

“You were both at the park walking your dogs, you’re expected to exercise some caution around them.”

“That’s very presumptuous of her to expect you to pay for her carelessness.”

“NTA.”- TNJDude


“This is her fault.”

“She was running and she knew your dog was nearby.”

“If you decide to pay her for friendship sake, talk to a lawyer and get a release in exchange for any payment so she cant come back for more money later.”- ShiloX35


“Tell Cathy to pay her bills and stop blaming a dog for eating sh*t lol.”- BinkyBoy_07


“Do you think she would’ve dared to pull this demand on a random person in the park?”

“I honestly don’t think so.”

“The fact that you’re even wondering if you should be paying tells me that you are generally generous, and she sees an opportunity to take advantage.”- Special_Lychee_6847

“There is no way that Cathy tripped over your dog hard enough to dislocate her shoulder and the dog didn’t make a sound.”

“She TOTALLY tripped on her own and is trying to milk you for $$$.”

“NTA and don’t admit to anything.”- ZoneLow6872


“Her responsibility not your unless she can prove it was your dogs fault.”- Agreeable_Rule_7768

“There’s no way your dog would not have reacted at all if someone tripped over it – a yelp, a bark, being in visible pain (because a person tripping over a dog would hurt the dog at least a little, just like a person tripping over a child would hurt the child).”

“If your dog literally had no reaction, then she didn’t trip over your dog.”

“She just tripped, and wants someone else to pay her medical bills.”

“NTA.”- Primary-Friend-7615

“There’s no way your dog would not have reacted at all if someone tripped over it – a yelp, a bark, being in visible pain (because a person tripping over a dog would hurt the dog at least a little, just like a person tripping over a child would hurt the child).”

“If your dog literally had no reaction, then she didn’t trip over your dog.”

“She just tripped, and wants someone else to pay her medical bills.”

“NTA.”-  Primary-Friend-7615


“It’s on Cathy for running on uneven ground with a pooch around.”

“The park ain’t a racetrack.”- Leonauinn4564


“And aren’t corgies kinda dramatic normally?”

“I have three dogs (not corgies) and all of them would at least squeak if someone tripped over them and then would back away.”

“So you would definitely see, if something happened to them.”

“And even IF she fell over your dog she shouldn’t get your money.”

“That’s her own fault.”- Launchen


“If I was in this situation I would have happily volunteered to help with recovery, ie making some meals, helping with household chores, etc.”

“But medical bills?”


“And to be clear, I would only help if she hadn’t started demanding you pay.”

“I’d steer clear of her at this point.”

“Since she is a coworker, I’d suggest you discuss with HR preemptively.”- farflight88


“It was not your dog’s fault. It was an accident.”

“She came from behind.”

“It’s not like your dog charged her and she suddenly had to veer off course.”

“Your dog didn’t even know she was there and if she did hit your dog 100%, you would have seen your dog react either with a squeal or a bark.”

“Her account of the event doesn’t quite match what you and your other friend feel so I would apply a little bit of doubt there, but in the end this is what she has health insurance for.”

“While it’s awful, she was injured so seriously, it really seems it was an accident.”

“The whole thing is awkward with her being a co-worker and newish friend. “

“I probably wouldn’t pay but if you wanted to keep the peace especially at work, maybe you could offer half her deductible.”- rebmaisme

Accidents happen, that’s for sure.

Something it’s too bad Cathy can’t seem to accept, instead choosing to blame the OP for her accident.

An accident it seems she really has no one to blame but herself for.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.