This Utah statute provides that a person with a disability who uses an assistance animal, or the owner of an assistance animal has a cause of action for economic and noneconomic damages against a person who steals the animal or a person whose animal attacks the assistance animal due to the negligence of that person. The measure of damages is the replacement value for an equally trained assistance animal, the costs incurred by the owner (including the costs for continued assistance by either a person or another animal, the costs to recover a stolen animal, court costs, and attorney fees), or costs incurred for the recovery of the assistance animal, such as veterinary medical expenses, expenses in finding the animal (including rewards), and costs in bringing a court action.
(1) A person with a disability who uses a service animal, or the owner of a service animal has a cause of action for economic and noneconomic damages against:
(a) any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the service animal; and
(b) the owner or keeper of any animal that without provocation attacks a service animal due to the owner's or keeper's negligent failure to exercise sufficient control over the animal to prevent the attack.
(2) The action authorized by this section maybe brought by a person with a disability who uses the service animal, or the owner of the service animal.
(3) The measure of economic damages in an action brought under Subsection (1) regarding a service animal that is not returned or is killed or injured due to an unprovoked attack so that the service animal is unable to function again as a service animal includes:
(a) the replacement value of an equally trained service animal, without any differentiation for the age or experience of the animal; and
(b) costs and expenses incurred by the person with a disability or the owner, including:
(i) costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another service animal or by a person;
(ii) reasonable costs incurred in efforts to recover a stolen service animal; and
(iii) court and attorney costs incurred in bringing an action under this section.
(4) If the unprovoked attack on a service animal results in injuries from which the animal recovers so it is able to again function as a service animal for the person with a disability, or if the theft of the service animal results in the recovery of the service animal and the animal is again able to function as a service animal for the person with a disability, the measure of economic damages is the costs and expenses incurred by the person with a disability or the owner as a result of the theft of or injury to the service animal, and includes:
(a) veterinary medical expenses;
(b) costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another service animal or a person;
(c) costs incurred in recovering the service animal, such as a reward; and
(d) court and attorney costs incurred in bringing an action under this section.
Laws 2008, c. 3, § 736, eff. Feb. 7, 2008.