Animal Law

Driver Kills Dog, Sues Owners for Damages

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A Minnesota driver who struck and killed a dog has sued its owner for damages.

Jeffery Ely maintains he deserves about $1,100 compensation for damage to his car and the time he had to take off work for repairs.

The dog was a miniature pinscher named Fester after the uncle of The Addams Family fame. He ran past owner Nikki Munthe and onto the road as she was letting another dog into her home, the Duluth News Tribune (reg. req.) reports.

She has filed a $2,400 countersuit against Ely seeking compensation for the loss of Fester, the cost of buying a replacement dog, and time she had to take off work for court appearances.

The CBS television show Judge Joe Brown offered to fly Munthe and Ely to California to try the case, but she turned down the offer. She said she didn’t want to glamorize what happened.

Ely told the News Tribune that he is a dog owner himself, so he understands Munthe’s loss. “I love dogs,” he said. “But once you get them, they are your responsibility.”

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