If acat had a seizure while I was grooming it and it passed away, am I financially obligated to pay for the cat?

UPDATED: Jan 13, 2012

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If acat had a seizure while I was grooming it and it passed away, am I financially obligated to pay for the cat?

I have been communicating with this gentleman by letter only since the accident. I have everything that was said on paper. He went from wanting free grooming and promoting my business on his website. He is a professional dog breeder apparently. We declined finding ironic that he wanted me to groom his dogs when he was accusing me of killing his cat. I am unsure of what to do. I don’t feel I owe him any money. I let my business insurance lapse due to financial constraints. He is asking for the price of a new cat plus spaying, declawing front and rear.

Asked on January 13, 2012 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are only liable if the cat had the seizure and passed away due to something you did--e.g. you used some product on it which caused the seizure; somehow shook it or held it in a such a way as to trigger a seizure (assuming that is possible); etc. If you did not cause the seizure, you would not be legally liable, though it is sometimes worthwhile to pay, even when not liable, to avoid bad publicity, loss of a business relationship, etc.

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