Tort Law

$65K Award in Dog's Demise May Be Largest Ever in Colo. for Death of Pet

An award of over $65,000 to a Denver woman whose pet dog, Ruthie, was let out of her home by a cleaning service last year and got hit by a car, may be the largest verdict ever in Colorado for the death of a pet.

Plaintiff Robin Lohre said she offered to take Ruthie with her when she left Posh Maids in charge for a several-hour cleaning, but was told by a worker for the company would look after her pet, reports KMGH, a local ABC News affiliate.

Lohre came home to find the dog dead under a table. No one had taken the dog to a vet or notified Lohre that there had been an accident, according to her lawyer.

“The ruling sets a damages precedent that animals are worth more than their replacement value,” said attorney Jennifer Edwards of the Animal Law Center. “When we lose a pet, we do suffer emotional distress and heartache, just as we would with any other member of our families.”

Miranda Pallone, who owns the cleaning service, said the dog growled at her employees from under a table when they tried to approach it after the accident. At that point, they followed company policy concerning aggressive animals and left the house.

When the lawsuit was filed, Pallone told KMGH she had offered $2,000 to Lohre, against her lawyer’s advice, to try to settle the suit but contended that paying the $25,000 that Lohre was then seeking could put her out of business.

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