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Texas Animal Attack Law: Texas Law May Allow Damages for Sentimental Value of a Deceased Dog

Friday, September 28th, 2012
Hybryda owczarka niemieckiego z labradorem ret...

Labrador mix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In news out of Fort Worth, Texas, dog owners who lose their beloved pets due to the negligence of others have something to take comfort in. The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case about dog owners being able to sue for sentimental value and not strictly for the market value of their deceased pet.

The case which the Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear involves Kathryn and Jeremy Medlen, who sued a Fort Worth animal shelter employee on negligence claims.

According to reports, Avery, the Medlen’s 8-year old Labrador mix, escaped from the family’s back yard and was taken to the animal shelter by the city’s Animal Control. Jeremy attempted to bail Avery out, but he needed more cash to pay the required fees. He was assured that he could pick Avery up the next day. He was told that a hold-for-owner tag would be placed on the dog’s cage, to make sure that he wasn’t euthanized. But when the Medlens arrived to pick Avery up the next day, Avery had been euthanized.

The Medlens are seeking “sentimental or intrinsic” damages, but case law in Texas hasn’t allowed these types of damages to apply to the death of a dog.

What ultimately transpired is that a 2nd Court ruling determined that people in Texas can lawfully sue for the sentimental value of a pet, not strictly market value.

Oral arguments on this case will go before the Texas Supreme Court on January 10, 2013.

–Guest Contributor

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