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Putting a price on man's best friend

Are our pets the invaluable family members we consider them to be in the eyes of the law?

To put it simply, the answer is no. A 2012 incident, however, prompted a more thorough investigation of this question.

Ultimately Georgia Supreme Court Justice, Hugh Thompson determined sentiments held toward pets to be "beyond legal measure." In other words, in the case of pet loss, there is virtually no way of legally quantifying an appropriate value for damages. This opinion stems from a complaint made against Barking Hound Village, a pet kennel in Georgia. Dog owners Robert and Elizabeth Monyak are seeking financial compensation for the loss of their Dachshund, Lola, who died as a result of receiving the wrong medication during her stay at the kennel. Although Thompson's statement regarding damage recovery may seem bleak, the Georgia Court's unanimous decision to allow the Monyaks' case to move forward provides pet owners some reassurance.

The Monyaks are seeking $67,000 in damages - an amount that conflicts with generally accepted legal principles regarding damage recovery. Usually, damages recovered are not to exceed the original market value of the damaged property. In this particular case that value would be about $200. Fortunately for the Monyaks, the court ruled in their favor, allowing them to pursue the 5-figure compensation - a reflection of money the family spent treating Lola - in a lower court.
On a broader scale, this decision renders features such as pet breed and age equally admissible in court as characteristics used to describe other types of personal property. For many owners, no amount of money could come close to the emotional value they assign to their pets. Now, however, they can take solace in knowing, with cases such as the Monyaks', the court is open to providing more compensation than previously believed possible.

Are our pets the invaluable family members we consider them to be in the eyes of the law? To put it simply, the answer is no. A 2012 incident, however, prompted a more thorough investigation of this question. Ultimately Georgia Supreme Court Justice, Hugh Thompson determined sentiments held toward pets to be "beyond legal measure." In other words, in the case of pet loss, there is virtually no way of legally quantifying an appropriate value for damages. This opinion stems from a complaint made against Barking Hound Village, a pet kennel in Georgia. Dog owners Robert and Elizabeth Monyak are seeking financial compensation for the loss of their Dachshund, Lola, who died as a result of receiving the wrong medication during her stay at the kennel. Although Thompson's statement regarding damage recovery may seem bleak, the Georgia Court's unanimous decision to allow the Monyaks' case to move forward provides pet owners some reassurance.

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The Malloy Law Firm concentrates on helping injured people and their families put their lives back together. We can help you get the medical care and compensation you need.

Malloy Law Offices, LLC
4630 Montgomery Avenue
Suite 230
Bethesda, MD 20814

Toll Free: 866-271-5772
Phone: 202-618-1867
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