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Texas Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Dog Owners Suing For Their Dog's Sentimental Value
When you see dogs and their owners together it's clear the dogs are more than man's best friend, they're family. And their owners tell me they don't know what they would do if their animal was ever hurt or killed. But they say they would stop short of suing someone over it. Dog owner Heather Lehtola says, "As much as I love my pets...they're my family...they sleep in bed with me...but they're still dogs."
A lawsuit coming before the Texas Supreme Court seeks to establish the right to sue to recover damages if a beloved pet is wrongly injured or killed. The plaintiffs say it's all about being fairly compensated for something that is irreplaceable to them, but has little market value.
"Being a dog owner, I would definitely like the ability to do that because I care about my dog so much, and he means so much in a personal way. But you know for larger legal issues it's kind of a slippery slope," says Bryce Cottle.
Local veterinarians worry about the slippery slope, too. They envision a flood of malpractice cases hoping to recover large amounts that include sentimental value. The vets say these claims would cause higher insurance rates for them, and they would have to pass the cost on to their customers. It's clear to the owners that their dogs are more than just property. But the high court has to make clear exactly how much more.
By Fred Cantu