KINGSTON TOWNSHIP -- A farm with a popular petting zoo in Luzerne County is now thinking of ways to protect itself from potential lawsuits.
The Lands at Hillside Farms near Dallas recently closed its cow barn to visitors because of the threat of legal action from visitors.
It's already settled one lawsuit but faces the possibility of two others from people who were hurt during a visit.
Marie Pervis and her granddaughter Elaina visit The Lands at Hillside Farms near Dallas every week. They pick up a gallon of fresh milk, sometimes some ice cream, too. But for little Elaina, the best part of their visit is watching all the animals at work.
"We come to see the cows, and she's disappointed when they're out in the pasture," said Marie Pervis.
Now, she'll be disappointed for another reason. The cows are all inside their barn, feasting on hay, but because of recent legal threats, the farm has received in recent years, the cow barn is now off limits to visitors.
"People today, their mentality is to sue you for everything, and I think it's a shame," Pervis added.
A letter is posted telling visitors about the choice to close the cow barn. It's a decision managers at Hillside Farms didn't want to make.
"I can't put a sign up for everything that could go wrong, so until we can find a better solution, we close the door to this area," said The Lands at Hillside Farms executive director Chet Mazloom.
The last straw for managers was an intent-to-sue notice it received over the summer. It was filed by parents who say a cow gave their child a bloody nose. Mazloom calls that threat of a lawsuit frivolous.
Visitors at the farm believe it's downright ridiculous.
"I think people are getting a little too sensitive. It's kind of a shame that it ruins it for the kids," said Mackenzie Roba of Dallas.
The Lands at Hillside Farms doesn't know how long it will keep the cow barn closed to the public. But it's now considering other options, such as having visitors sign a waiver.
"It's silly, but I think the farm has to protect themselves," said Roba.
The Lands at Hillside Farms did not want to name any of the people who sent those legal notices, but managers did reach out to the parents of the child who suffered the bloody nose to sort things out. So far, the farm hasn't heard back.