BERNADETTE WOMACK, a single woman; and BERNADETTE WOMACK a Fiduciary, Personal Representative, and Special Guardian over the Sentient Being and Equitable Estate of MAX WOMACK, deceased feline and property sui generis; and STATE OF WASHINGTON as parens patriae for MAX WOMACK ex rel. v. RUSTY VON RARDON, a Minor, and Temporary Constructive Trustee over MAX WOMACK; JASON ROBERT BRUMBACK, a Minor, and Temporary Constructive Trustee over MAX WOMACK; BONNIE MUSTAIN RARDON A/K/A BONNIE MUSTAIN and JOHN DOE RARDON, husband and wife, and the marital community composed thereof; DONALD G. BRUMBACK and SUSAN L. BRUMBACK, parents to JASON BRUMBACK, husband and wife, and the marital community composed thereof; and Does 1-10; and JAYSON L. ANDERSON, Temporary Constructive Trustee over MAX WOMACK
Year Case Filed: 2006Jurisdiction Level: WashingtonCase File Num: 24221-8-IIIDefense Attorney: Bonnie Mustain Rardon (Appearing Pro Se); Jayson L Anderson (Appearing Pro Se); Rusty Von Rardon (Appearing Pro Se)Drafting Attorney: Adam Phillip Karp
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."