Monday, April 23, 2012

Should pet owner be awarded non economic damages for death of pet? Court in Colorado says yes.

I have argued before that I really don't see why owners should not have the right to try to claim personal/emotional injuries due to the deaths or injuries to their pets. See here. However, although there may be a few cases out there that have recognized these types of claims, courts have traditionally held that animals are "chattels" and that there is no cause of action for emotional distress, loss of companionship and the like when they are injured by others. Usually, if a cause of action is recognized, the injuries are valued based on the "market value" of the animal or for injuries based on intentional conduct by the defendant.  Rarely do you see claims allowing for non economic damages in cases based on negligence.

A recent case in Colorado has now brought the issue back to the forefront.  In this case, the plaintiff will receive $65,000 from the defendant for the death of her dog after the defendant negligently let the dog out of the house and the dog was hit by a car. 

For more on the story go here and here.

No comments: