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Womack v. Von Rardon (2006)

Plaintiff's Attorney:   Adam Phillip Karp

Defendant's Attorney:   Bonnie Mustain Rardon (Appearing Pro Se); Jayson L Anderson (Appearing Pro Se); Rusty Von Rardon (Appearing Pro Se)

3rd Party Amicus or Intervening Party:   Amicus Curiae on behalf of Animal Legal Defense Fund

3rd Party Attorney:   David Michael Kerwin

Topic: Cruelty - intentional animal cruelty

Case File #:   24221-8-III

Jurisdiction:   Washington

Year Case Filed:   2006

Name of the Document:   Opinion

Printible Version

In this Washington case, a cat owner sued a minor and his parents after the minor set her cat on fire.  While this Court found that the trial court correctly granted summary judgment with respect to Ms. Womack's private nuisance, tort outrage, and statutory waste claims, it held that the lower court incorrectly calculated the measure of damages.  Noting that the Division 2 Appellate Court left open the question of emotional distress damages where a pet has been maliciously injured in Pickford v. Masion, 124 Wash.App. 257, 262-63, 98 P.3d 1232 (2004), this Court held that the general allegations include sufficient facts to find both malicious conduct toward Ms. Womack's pet and her resulting emotional distress.  Thus, "[f]or the first time in Washington, we hold malicious injury to a pet can support a claim for, and be considered a factor in measuring a person's emotional distress damages."  

Opinion of the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3 (05/25/2006) (pdf file - 36.41 KB)

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