Washington

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Titlesort ascending Summary
Citizens for Responsible Wildlife Management v. State


A citizen groups filed a declaratory judgment action against the State of Washington seeking a determination that the 2000 initiative 713 barring use of body-gripping traps, sodium fluoroacetate, or sodium cyanide to trap or kill mammals was unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court found that appellants did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Initiative 713 violated the constitution, and thus affirmed the superior court's denial of the summary judgment motion.  The court also held that the initiative was exempt from the constitutional provision prohibiting legislation that revises or amends other acts without setting them forth at full length.

Christine Valpiani and Anthony Valpiani, husband and wife, plaintiffs v. Lisa K. Reising, D.V.M. a Washington State veterinarian


This King County, Washington motion for summary judgment sought dismissal of several of plaintiff's claims as well as a limitation to the damages that are recoverable. Plaintiffs claim that the negligence of defendant-veterinarian caused the death of their dog (defendant admitted negligence so the issue here centers on damages). The court held that plaintiffs may assert claims for loss of use, but not loss of companionship.

Brinton v. Codoni


This unpublished Washington case stems from an attack on plaintiff's dog by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued for damages, alleging negligence and nuisance. The trial court ruled on partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were limited, as a matter of law, to the dog's fair market value. The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to damages based on the dog's intrinsic value (i.e., utility and service and not sentimental attachment) and her emotional distress. On appeal, this court held that since the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of showing that her dog had no fair market value, the trial court properly limited damages to that value. Further, because the plaintiff's nuisance claims were grounded in negligence, she was not entitled to damages beyond those awarded for her negligence claim.

BERNADETTE WOMACK, a single woman; and BERNADETTE WOMACK a Fiduciary, Personal Representative, and Special Guardian over the Sen
American Dog Owners Ass'n v. City of Yakima

In this Washington case, plaintiff brought suit against the City of Yakima challenging an ordinance that banned “pit bulls” dogs. The Superior Court, Yakima County, granted city's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiffs appealed. Plaintiffs first argued that the ordinance is vague because a person of ordinary intelligence cannot tell what is prohibited.  The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that the City used adequate standards for identification in the professional standards and illustrations to show that a particular dog meets the professional standard. Thus, the Court found that the ordinance gave sufficient notice of what was conduct prohibited. Summary judgment for the City was affirmed.

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