Pet Damages: Related Cases

Case namesort descending Citation Summary
Kondaurov v. Kerdasha 629 S.E.2d 181 (Va. 2006)

In Kondaurov v. Kerdasha , the Virginia Supreme Court held that the plaintiff-motorist could not recover damages for emotional or mental anguish she suffered either because of her concern for injuries sustained by her dog, who was riding in motorist's car at time of accident. Here, the plaintiff was clearly entitled to be compensated in damages for any emotional distress she suffered as a consequence of the physical impact she sustained in the accident. However, the court noted that Virginia still views pets as personal property, and plaintiffs cannot recover emotional distress damages resulting from negligently inflicted injury to personal property.

Krasnecky v. Meffen 777 N.E.2d 1286 (Mass.App.Ct.,2002)

In Krasnecky v Meffen , the plaintiffs sought damages for emotional distress, loss of companionship, and society when defendant’s dogs broke into plaintiff’s backyard and killed their seven sheep. The plaintiffs loved their sheep like a parent would love a child, and went so far as to throw birthday parties for them. Plaintiff’s counsel, Steven Wise, Esq., also instructed the court to consult a text on veterinary ethics, which defined companion animals to include the plaintiff’s sheep within the definition. The court did not address the issue concerning the emotional distress claim, but instead stated that the class of persons authorized to recover were “persons” closely related to the injured person. Furthermore, Justice Jacobs noted that it would be irrational for plaintiffs to have greater rights in the case of a companion animal than in a case of the tortious death of an immediate family member.

Lachenman v. Stice 838 N.E.2d 451 (Ind.App.)

In this Indiana case, a dog owner whose dog was attacked and killed by a neighbor's dog, brought an action against the neighbor to recover veterinary bills and emotional distress damages. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment in favor of defendant-neighbor, finding that however negligent the neighbor's behavior might have been in controlling his dog, his actions did not constitute outrageous behavior so as to give rise to claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court also refused to extend the bystander rule under plaintiff's negligent infliction of emotional distress claim to include the dog owner's witnessing the death of his dog.

Lamare v. North Country Animal League 743 A.2d 598 (Vt. 1999)

Owners of a licensed dog that escaped while not wearing its tags filed an action against a local animal shelter that ultimately released the dog to others for adoption.  The court held that the town's actions fully complied with its animal control ordinance and that its ordinance provided ample notice to plaintiffs consistent with state law and due process requirements.

Langford v. Emergency Pet Clinic 644 N.E.2d 1035 Ohio App. 8 Dist., 1994)

Plaintiff-appellant Edna L. Langford appeals from summary judgments granted in favor of defendants-appellees, Emergency Pet Clinic and Animal Kingdom Pet Cemetery, arising out of the death and interment of her dog, Bozie, who was buried in a mass grave contrary to her wishes.  Since plaintiff did not satisfy the requirements necessary to bring a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (to wit, the extreme and outrageous element and proof of mental anguish beyond her capacity to endure it ), the appellate court held that the lower court did not err in finding no basis for the claim.  The court also disallowed her claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress as plaintiff was neither a bystander to an accident nor in fear of physical harm to her own person. 

LaPlace v. Briere 962 A.2d 1139 (N.J.Super.A.D.,2009)
In this New Jersey case, a horse owner brought an action against the person who exercised his horse while the horse was being boarded at the defendant's stable. While the stable employee was "lunging" the horse, the horse reared up, collapsed on his side with blood pouring from his nostrils, and then died. On appeal of summary judgment for the defendant, the court held that the person who exercised horse could not be liable under the tort of conversion as she did not exercise such control and dominion over the horse that she seriously interfered with plaintiff's ownership rights in the horse. While the court found that a bailment relationship existed, the plaintiff failed to come forward with any additional evidence that established the horse was negligently exercised or that the exercise itself was a proximate cause of its death. The grant of summary judgment for the defendants was affirmed.
LaPorte v. Associated Independents, Inc. 163 So.2d 267 (Fla. 1964)

Respondent was a corporation engaged in the garbage collection business.  One of its employees maliciously hurled an empty garbage can at plaintiff's pet pedigreed dog, who was tethered at the time, killing it.  The issue before the court was the reconsideration not of  the issue of liability, but for determination only of compensatory and punitive damages.  The court stated that it was obvious from the facts that the act performed by the representative of the respondent was malicious and demonstrated an extreme indifference to the rights of the petitioner. Having this view, there was no prohibition of punitive damages relative to awarding compensation for mental pain, as would be the case if there had been physical injury resulting only from simple negligence.  The court went on to say that the restriction of the loss of a pet to its intrinsic value in circumstances such as the ones before us is a principle we cannot accept and that the malicious destruction of the pet provides an element of damage for which the owner should recover, irrespective of the value of the animal because of its special training.

Leith v. Frost 899 N.E.2d 635 (Ill.App. 4 Dist.,2008) In this Illinois case, plaintiffs, Mark and Mindy Leith, sued defendant, Andrew E. Frost, for tortious damage to their personal property, a dachshund named Molly. The trial court found in plaintiffs' favor with an award of $200, Molly's fair market value, rather than the $4,784 in veterinary expenses. While the court recognized fair market value is the traditional ceiling for damage to personal property, Illinois courts have held that certain items of personal property (heirlooms, photographs, pets, etc.) have no market value. Thus, the basis for assessing compensatory damages in such a case is to determine the actual value to the plaintiff beyond nominal damages. Adopting the rationale of the Kansas Court of Appeals in Burgess v. Shampooch Pet Industries, Inc., t his Court found that Mollly's worth to plaintiffs was established by the $4,784 plaintiffs paid for the dog's veterinary care.
Lincecum v. Smith 287 So.2d 625 (1973)

Despite "Good Samaritan" intent, the defendant was liable for conversion where he authorized a sick puppy's euthanasia without first making reasonable efforts to locate its owner. The court also awarded $50 for the puppy's replacement value and $100 for mental anguish and humiliation.

Lindauer v. LDB Drainlaying, Inc. 555 P.2d 197 (Colo.App. 1976)
In this Colorado case, the owners of a thoroughbred racehorse brought a negligence action to recover for injuries to his horse against the corporation that  installed underground pipe on property leased by plaintiffs. The lower court entered judgment on a verdict awarding damages to plaintiffs. On appeal, this court held that the evidence of negligence and contributory negligence was sufficient for jury where defendant physically left an unfinished project for two months where the horse was injured. Defendant still owed a duty of care that it would have owed as contractor. However, plaintiffs were not entitled to damages for care and feeding of injured horse.
Liotta v. Segur Not Reported in A.2d, 2004 WL 728829 (Conn.Super.), 36 Conn. L. Rptr. 621 (Conn.Super.,2004)

In this unreported Connecticut case, a dog owner sued a groomer for negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the groomer negligently handled her very large dog when he removed it from her vehicle with “excessive force.” This resulted in a leg fracture, that, after lengthy and expensive care, ultimately resulted in the dog's euthanization. The court held that plaintiff failed to adequately plead a case for negligent infliction of emotional distress, but said in dicta that the results might be different for a pet owner who proves intentional infliction of emotional distress. Motion for summary judgment as against plaintiff's count two is granted.

Lockett v. Hill 51 P.3d 5 (Or.App.,2002)

In this Oregon case, plaintiff sued defendant after defendant's pit bulls mauled plaintiff's cat to death while they were running loose on plaintiff's property. The trial court found that defendant was negligent and awarded plaintiffs $1,000 in compensatory damages but denied plaintiffs' claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of companionship. Plaintiff sought appeal of the trial court's denial of damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) and loss of companionship. The appellate court affirmed, holding that the cat owner was not entitled to recover damages for emotional distress.

LOUISVILLE & N. R. CO. v. WATSON 208 Ala. 319 (1922)

On November 2, 1920, on a “moonlit night”, plaintiff was fox hunting by a railroad track when his dog was hit by the train. Plaintiff claimed that defendant’s employee negligently ran over his dog while acting within the scope of his duties as an operator of the train. The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a jury award of $50, and held that it was proper for the plaintiff to show the excellent hunting qualities displayed by this dog to determine its market value.

Mahtani v. Wyeth Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2011 WL 2609857 (D.N.J.)

After some plaintiffs alleged their dogs suffered harmed as a result of using a tick and flea treatment medication, while others alleged the product was ineffective, plaintiffs sought to gain class certification in their lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. Since the district court found that individual inquiry into questions of fact predominated over inquiry into facts common to class members regarding the plaintiffs’ New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Unjust Enrichment and Breach of Warranty claims, the plaintiff’s motion for class certification was denied.

Martinez v. Robledo 147 Cal.Rptr.3d 921 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)

These two consolidated California appeals address the measure of damages for the wrongful injury to a companion animal. Both respondents filed motions in limine concerning the issue of damages in the cases and, in both case, the trial court limited the measure of damages to the market value of the dogs. On appeal, the appellants argued that the measure of damages should go beyond market value to cover the reasonable costs of the pets' treatment. The appellate court found the recent case of Kimes v. Grosser (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1556 (decided after these appeals were filed) persuasive (where the court held that a plaintiff can recover reasonable and necessary costs where a pet is wrongfully injured). The court reasoned that otherwise, the injured animal's owner would bear the burden of all the costs of treatment, regardless of the wrongdoer's conduct. Moreover, this ruling reflects a basic principle of tort law - to make a plaintiff whole again - and accords with the different way animals, as property, are treated in the criminal arena. Thus, the court agreed with Kimes that allowing a pet owner to recover reasonable and necessary costs related to the treatment of an animal wrongfully injured is an appropriate measure of damages.

McAdams v. Faulk (unpublished) Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2002 WL 700956 (Ark.App.)

Dog owner brought dog to veterinarian’s office where someone choked the dog, causing injuries that led to its death. The Court of Appeals held that the owner stated a veterinary malpractice claim against veterinarian because owner alleged that dog was choked while in veterinarian's care, that veterinarian failed to diagnose neck injury that proved fatal, performed unnecessary treatment out of greed, and refused to provide owner with medical explanation of dog's condition and death, all in violation of the veterinary licensing statute. The Court also held that violating the cruelty to animals statute was evidence of negligence, and that damages included economic loss, compensation for mental anguish, including future anguish. and punitive damages.

McBride v. Orr 466 A.2d 952 (N.H., 1983)

In this New Hampshire case, defendant animal control officer killed plaintiff’s dog believing that it was in pursuit of a deer. Defendant claimed immunity pursuant to a state statute. The Court reversed and remanded for a determination of damages for the plaintiff. The Court went on to state that the purpose of the statute was not to authorize defendant’s killing of plaintiff’s dog when the dog was no longer pursuing the deer.

McCallister v. Sappingfield 72 Or. 422 (Or. 1914)

Plaintiff brought action for damages against defendant for killing his dog. Evidence as to its special value was admissible. was not error to admit the testimony of plaintiff regarding the dog's special value. Owner of a dog wrongfully killed was not limited to market value and could prove its special value by showing its qualities, characteristics, and pedigree.

McConnell v. Oklahoma Gas & Elec. Co. 530 P.2d 127 (Okl. 1974)

In this Oklahoma case, defendant gas company left the plaintiff's yard gate open through which the plaintiff's dog escaped and was then hit by a car. In finding that the gate being left open was the proximate cause of the injury, the court held that the allegations in plaintiffs' amended petition, stated a cause of action and that the trial court erred in sustaining defendant's general demurrer to the petition.

McDANIEL v. JOHNSON 278 S.W.2d 657 (Ark.1955)

In this Arkansas case, a neighbor intentionally shot and killed the plaintiff’s pointer bird dog. The defendant neighbor admitted to intentionally killing the dog to protect his property (to wit, cattle). In affirming an award of actual and punitive damages, the court held that punitive damages were available where the defendant acted in a willful, malicious, and wanton manner.

McDonald v. Bauman 433 P.2d 437 (Kan. 1967)

This is an action for damages, both actual and punitive, wherein the plaintiff seeks to recover for the defendant's willful, wanton, malicious and cruel conduct in coming onto the plaintiff's premises, in plaintiff's absence, and in shooting and wounding plaintiff's dog in the presence of plaintiff's wife without justification or excuse and without the acquiescence or condonation of the plaintiff or his wife. A jury in the lower court acted found in favor of the defendant and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that evidence that the defendant caught the dog in the act of injuring his hogs, and that the defendant was in hot pursuit of the dogs, was sufficient to support the jury's verdict.

McDonald v. Ohio State Univ. Veterinary Hospital 644 N.E.2d 750 (Ohio Ct.Cl., 1994)

After defendant filed a stipulation admitting liability for a botched surgery on defendant's show dog that ultimately led to euthanization, a trial was held as to the issue of damages.  Evidence adduced at trial showed that "Nemo" had been trained by plaintiff as a Schutzhund or "sport dog" in Schutzhund schooling.  The court noted that while dogs are considered personal property in Ohio and market value is the standard award for such personal property, market value in this case was merely a "guideline."  In addition to the loss of the specially trained dog, the court also found significant the loss of stud fees for the dog and potential future gains in sustaining the trial court's award of $5,000 in damages.  

McDougall v. Lamm 48 A.3d 312 (N.J.,2012)

This New Jersey case considered whether a pet owner should be permitted to recover for emotional distress caused by observing the traumatic death of that pet. The incident giving rise to this case occurred when plaintiff's "maltipoo" dog was attacked and killed by a neighbor's larger dog as she was walking her dog. Plaintiff then brought an action against the owner of the larger dog, alleging negligence and emotional distress. The lower court entered partial summary judgment to the owner of the large dog on the emotional distress claim, and a bench trial awarded plaintiff replacement costs for her dog. On appeal here, the Supreme Court recognized that while many individuals develop close, familial bonds with their pets, expanding a cause of action for emotional distress due to the loss of a pet would create "ill-defined and amorphous cause of action that would elevate the loss of pets to a status that exceeds the loss of all but a few human beings."

McDougall v. Lamm (unpublished) Not Reported in 2010 WL 5018258 (2010)

Plaintiff witnessed her dog be killed by Defendant's dog. The  court held that Plaintiff’s damages were limited to her dog's “intrinsic” monetary value or its replacement cost. Plaintiff was not entitled to compensation for the emotional distress she experienced in witnessing the attack.

McElroy v. Carter Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2006 WL 2805141 (Tenn.Ct.App.)

In this Tennessee case, a man shot and wounded a cat owned by his neighbor as the animal exited from the bed of the man's prized pickup truck. The cat died from its wounds shortly thereafter. The neighbor sued for the veterinary bills she incurred for treatment of the cat's injuries. The truck owner counter-sued for the damage the cat allegedly caused to his truck by scratching the paint. After a bench trial, the court awarded the truck's owner $6,500 in damages, which it offset by a $372 award to the neighbor for her veterinary bills. The Court of Appeals reversed that decision finding that as a matter of law the cat's owner cannot be held liable for not keeping her cat confined when the damage the cat allegedly caused was not foreseeable.

McMahon v. Craig 176 Cal.App.4th 1502, 97 Cal.Rptr.3d 555 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2009)

In this California case, the plaintiff appealed a demurrer granted by the trial court on her claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress and portions of her complaint struck that sought damages for emotional distress and loss of companionship. The case stems from defendant-veterinarian's care of plaintiff's Maltese dog after surgery. Defendant also lied to plaintiff and falsified records concerning the treatment of the dog. On appeal of the trial court demurrer, this court held that an owner cannot recover emotional distress damages for alleged veterinary malpractice. The court found that it would be incongruous to impose a duty on a veterinarian to avoid causing emotional distress to the owner of the animal being treated, while not imposing such a duty on a doctor to the parents of a child receiving treatment.

McPherson v. Schlemmer 749 P.2d 51 (Mont. 1988)

In McPherson v. Schlemer , plaintiff’s cows were killed by defendant when they wandered onto the highway. The court determined that damages were calculated at the present and future profits for fair market value.

Medlen v. Strickland 353 S.W.3d 576 (2011,Tex.App.-Fort Worth)

[Reversed by Texas Supreme Court: 397 S.W.3d 184 (Tex. 2013)]. The Medlens sued Strickland for Avery's “sentimental or intrinsic value” because the dog had little or no market value and was irreplaceable. The trial court found that Texas law barred such damages, and dismissed the suit with prejudice. On appeal, the court stated that several opinions have supported damages based on sentimental or intrinsic value for personal property where the property has little or no market value. Because dogs are personal property that hold a special value to their owners, the court found that it was consistent to extend sentimental damages for the loss of a pet. The action was remanded for further proceedings.

Miller v. Peraino 626 A.2d 637 (Pa.Super., 1993)

The incident generating this dispute after two veterinary assistants claimed that Miller viciously beat plaintiff's dog Nera to death because he was having difficulty getting the dog from the basement recovery room to the waiting area upstairs where the dog would be picked up.  The sole issue on this appeal is the dismissal of plaintiff's cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting from both the dog's death and the veterinarian's behavior during plaintiff's picketing of his business.  Relying on both the Restatement (Second) of Torts and a prior decision inDaughen v. Fox, the court held that intentional infliction of emotional distress cannot legally be founded upon a veterinarian's behavior toward an animal. 

Mills v. Guthrie County Rural Elec. Co-op. Ass'n 454 N.W.2d 846 (1990)

Rural electric cooperative association caused fire that destroyed hog farrowing facility. Customers sued to recover damages. The Supreme Court held that: (1) punitive damages were not recoverable; (2) customers did not have claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress; but (3) evidence of lost profits from future pig litters as a measure of business interruption damages should not have been excluded.

Missouri Farmers Ass'n v. Kempker 726 S.W.2d 723 (Mo.,1987)

Missouri Farmers Association sued a dairy farmer on account and notes. The farmer counterclaimed, alleging that Association had supplied defective feed. The Supreme Court held that farmer's recovery for diminution in cows' value did not preclude recovery for loss of milk and calf production. However, the  farmer failed to sufficiently link the feed to his damages, so his evidence of lost profits was speculative, which prevented recovery.

Mitchell v. Heinrichs 27 P.3d 309 (Alaska, 2001)

Defendant shot plaintiff's dogs after perceiving they were a threat to her livestock and her when they trespassed upon her property.  In denying defendant's claim for punitive damages, the court observed that in this case, defendant's conduct, while drastic, did not rise to the level of outrageousness.  With regard to the trial court's award of only the market value of the dog to plaintiff , the court noted that it agreed with those courts that recognize that the actual value of the pet to the owner, rather than the fair market value, is sometimes the proper measure of the pet's value.  However, the court declined to award Mitchell damages for her dog's sentimental value as a component of actual value to her as the dog's owner.

Mitchell v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. 188 F.Supp. 869 (D.C.Cal. 1960)

In Mitchell v. Union Pacific R.R. Co. , 188 F.Supp. 869 (S.D. Cal. 1960), an expert was allowed to testify about a dog’s income-potential based on evidence that the dog could perform special tricks and made numerous appearances at charitable events. A jury verdict amounting to $5,000 was upheld where the court determined that the amount was not excessive and evidence of the dog’s income potential was not improper.

Molenaar v. United Cattle Co. 553 N.W.2d 424 (Minn.App., 1996)

Plaintiff livestock owner sued defendant livestock owner for conversion after defendant knowingly took both its heifers and plaintiff's heifers from a livestock holding facility that defendant was suing for breach of contract. The District Court entered judgment after a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff but granted judgment notwithstanding verdict (JNOV) to defendant on punitive damages. The Court of Appeals held that punitive damages could be awarded even though defendant did not suffer personal injury and the evidence was sufficient to find defendant liable for conversion.  This case established that a litigant may recover punitive damages for conversion of property if the conversion is in deliberate disregard of the rights or safety of others.

Montgomery v. Lester 201 So. 3d 966 (La. App. 3 Cir. 9/28/16), writ denied, 2016-1944 (La. 12/16/16), 212 So. 3d 1173 In this case, the Lesters appealed the judgment of the trial court awarding the Montgomerys $200,000 for the injury and death of their thoroughbred house that was caused by the Lester’s dog. The Lester’s dog chased after and barked at the horse, causing the horse to attempt to climb a fence which severely injured the horsed. The injuries were so severe that the horse was later euthanized. The Montgomerys filed suit against the Lesters and awarded $200,000 in damages. On appeal, the Lesters argued that the claims filed by the Montgomerys should be dismissed because they have “no personal right to claim the damages asserted” because “the registered owner of the horse at issue was Montgomery Equine Center, LLC and not the [Montgomerys].”The court reviewed the issue and determined that the Montgomerys were entitled to damages because they were the rightful owners of the horse. The court held that “registration of a horse does not prove ownership under Louisiana Law.” As a result, the court found that although the horse was registered to the Montgomery Equine Center, the Montgomerys were still the owners of the horse and therefore entitled to the damages that were awarded by the trial court judge.
Moreno v. Hughes 2016 WL 212932 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 19, 2016) This § 1983 action arises from the shooting of Plaintiffs' dog by Defendant Ronald Hughes, a Michigan Department of Corrections Absconder Recovery Unit Investigator. Defendant shot Plaintiffs' dog after entering her house by mistake to execute a fugitive warrant. This proceeding concerns a Motion in Limine filed by defendant seeking an order that plaintiffs are not entitled to noneconomic losses for the pain and suffering they sustained as a result of Defendant shooting their dog. Defendant contends that damage to personal property (including dogs) is limited to market value only. In rejecting Defendant's argument, this court found that it is "beyond dispute" that compensatory damages under § 1983 may include noneconomic injuries. A Plaintiff's interests in § 1983 actions contain different policy considerations than in traditional negligence claims. In fact, the court stated that, "[p]rohibiting recovery for emotional damages stemming from the loss of, or harm to, an animal caused by a constitutional violation would conflict with the compensatory and deterrence aims of § 1983." Additionally, applying Michigan law on the issue of emotional damages for injury to an animal would create inconsistency in civil rights actions since other states allow such damages. The court found that the determination of both compensatory and punitive damages must be left to the fact finder for each case, including this one. Defendant's Motion in Limine was denied.
Murrell v. Hooter 892 So.2d 680 (5th Cir., 2004)

A champion jumping horse was struck and killed by a van after escaping through an open gate.  The horse owner sued the property owners for negligence and the trial court granted defendants' summary judgment.  The Court of Appeals reversed the decision holding the defendants were not entitled to immunity under the Equine Immunity Statute.

Nationwide Horse Carriers, Inc. v. Johnston 519 S.W.2d 163 (Tex.,1974)

A pregnant mare was injured during transport and lost her foal. The owner sued carrier for damages. The Court of Civil Appeals held that horse owner was not entitled to recover damages for loss of mare’s unborn foal; that award for mare's diminished ability to produce healthy foals was excessive in light of fact that she subsequently produced a foal that survived; and that horse owner was not entitled to attorney fees since the horse was considered freight.

New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Farmer Boy AG, Inc. Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2000 WL 33125128 (S.D.Ind.)

Lightning struck a hog breeding facility, which disabled the ventilation system and killed pregnant sows. Plaintiff Insurance Company sued defendant for damages. The Court held that evidence of damages relating to the lost litters and subsequent generations was excluded because damages for future unborn litters are not recoverable when damages are recovered for the injury to or destruction of the pregnant sows.

Nichols v. Sukaro Kennels 555 N.W.2d 689 (Iowa, 1996)

During a stay at defendant kennel, the kennel owner's dog tore off plaintiff's dog's left front leg and shoulder blade.  Plaintiff's petition sought damages to compensate for the injuries and suffering the dog incurred and the loss of aesthetic intrinsic value of the dog.  In upholding the district court's denial of damages for emotional injury and mental suffering, the Court of Appeals rejected plaintiff's argument for damages based on the intrinsic value of a pet for the negligent injury to the dog.

Nikolic v. Seidenberg 610 N.E.2d 177 (Ill. App. Ct. 1993)

When the pet owner adopted a dog, she signed a contract agreeing to have her dog spayed at the vet's facility and to return the dog to the vet if it was sick. For days after the surgery the dog was ill so the other vet performed exploratory surgery and repaired a cut in the dog's intestine. The pet owner filed an action to recover the medical expenses and the lower court granted the vet's motion to dismiss.  The reviewing court held that the language in the contract was not sufficiently clear and explicit to exculpate the vet from negligence because the vet was not a party to the contract and thus not a direct beneficiary of the contract.

Norwest v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital 293 Or. 543 (Or. 1982)

This court found that there was no common law liability where a tortfeasor's conduct caused a child to lose parental support and care. The court declined to create a new common law cause of action for parental consortium, and suggested that it was up to the legislature to create such a cause of action. However, dicta in the case refers to an invasion of the animal/animal owner relationship as actionable misconduct.

O'Rourke v. American Kennels (Unpublished Disposition) 7 Misc.3d 1018(A) (N.Y. 2005)

In this highly entertaining Small Claims case, claimant seeks to recover the purchase price of her dog, Little Miss Muffet. The issue presented, in large part, concerns the dog's weight. Claimant contends that Muffet was supposed to be a "teacup dog." At eight pounds, she is well above the five pounds that is considered the weight limit for a "teacup" Maltese. Plaintiff paid an additional $1,000 above the standard $1,500 to purchase the smaller variety of Maltese. Plaintiff was awarded the differential in price, but not veterinary fees for a knee condition that developed after the warranty protections expired in the purchase agreement. 

Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. Animal Hosp. 785 N.E.2d 811 (Ohio App. 2 Dist.,2003)

This is the story of “Poopi,” a dog who tried to sue for emotional distress and failed. As the court observed, "Whether or not one agrees with the view that pets are more than personal property, it is clear that Ohio does not recognize noneconomic damages for injury to companion animals." While the court noted that one Ohio case has apparently left open the door for recover of distress damages, "the mental anguish in such situations must be ‘so serious and of a nature that no reasonable man could be expected to endure it.’ Even conceding the bond between many humans and their pets, the burden is one that would be very difficult to meet." Indeed, the court found that the burden was not met here.

Oestrike v. Neifert 255 N.W. 226 (Mich. 1934)

In this case, defendant Neifert rented land to graze cattle.  Plaintiff owned billboards in the pasture that were often painted with lead-based paint.  Defendant's cattle ate the lead-contaminated paint left in the pails and the ground and subsequently died from poisoning.  The Court upheld the award of damages to defendant-Neifert on a negligence theory because plaintiffs should have reasonably known that the cattle would ingest the paint left in the pails and on the field. 

Ott v. Pittman 463 S.E.2d 101 (S.C.App.,1995)

In this South Carolina case, a dog owner brought a negligence action against a hog farmer who shot two of the owner's champion "Treeing Walker Coonhound" dogs. The farmer counterclaimed, alleging damages for the dogs' action and malicious prosecution. The lower court ordered judgment for the dogs' owner (Ott) in the amount of $19,800, finding Pittman 90% liable. On the farmer's appeal, this court upheld the $19,800 award, finding sufficient support based on expert testimony about the specific qualities of the breed.

Pagel v. Yates 471 N.E.2d 946 (Ill.App. 4 Dist.,1984)

Horse owner sued breeder for negligence and conversion after breeder returned the wrong mare. On issue of damages, Appellate Court held that evidence was insufficient to support the jury award because 1) evidence of value of mare’s offspring four years after conversion was irrelevant and prejudicial; 2) trial court's instruction to jury allowed recovery for the horse's unborn offspring as well as fair market value of horse in foal, which permitted a double recovery; and 3) owner could not recover his expenses after he learned of switch and made no effort to resolve the problem because he had duty to avoid further loss.

Palfreyman v. Gaconnet 561 S.W.3d 258 (Tex. App. Sept. 27, 2018) This Texas appeals presents the unique question of whether companion animals, specifically "pet dogs," can be considered "stock" for awarding attorney fees under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 38.001(6) in lawsuits concerning their injury or death. The facts stem from an incident at appellees' dog boarding business where Palfreyman's two dogs died. In Palfreyman's original petition, she sought damages based on claims of negligence and gross negligence. She additionally requested reasonable attorney fee's under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 38.001(6) for "killed or injured stock." Appellees countered that Palfreyman could not recover attorney fees because the dogs were not "stock" as used in the statute. At the conclusion of trial, the trial court refused to consider the award of attorney fees. On appeal, the Court of Appeals first notes that Texas law does not allow recovery of attorney fees unless they are authorized by statute or contract. Here, the court examined the word "stock" as used in the cited law. While there is no definition in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code and the word "stock" is rarely used in Texas statutes, the term "livestock" is defined in several instances. In particular, the Penal Code distinguishes "livestock" from "nonlivestock animals" that include domesticated dogs. Further, the ordinary dictionary definition for stock would not include pets like dogs. The court was not persuaded by Palfreyman's argument that the Code should be liberally construed to promote its underlying purpose as well as her other examples of definitions for "stock." Thus, the court concluded the term “stock” in section 38.001(6) does not include pet dogs and appellant was not entitled to attorney fees under Section 38.001(6).5. Finally, Palfreyman contended in her reply brief that attorney fees may be awarded in bailment actions. However, the court declined this argument because she did not raise this in her initial brief so the court is not required to consider this new argument. The trial court's judgment was affirmed.
Park v. Moorman Mfg. Co. 241 P.2d 914 (Utah,1952)

Plaintiffs sued defendant corporation for breach of warranty as to fitness of purpose of poultry feed concentrate after egg production dropped, hens became malnourished, and an unusual amount of picking and cannibalism developed. As to the issue of damages, the Supreme Court held instruction that plaintiff was entitled to damages in amount of market value of chickens destroyed and that provided formula by which market value of suitable replacements could be determined was correct.

PARKER v. MISE 27 Ala. 480 (Ala., 1855)

In Parker v. Miser , 27 Ala. 480 (Ala. 1855), the court recognized that at common law, an action existed for the conversion or injury to property, and acknowledged dogs as property. The court went on to note that some amount of nominal damage existed for the wrongful killing of an animal, even in the absence of a precise amount. Where the killing of the animal was done in reckless disregard, a plaintiff could seek punitive damages.

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