Can the neighbor sue me for vet expenses if her cat bit my child and is now under quarantine and needs to be cleared by a vet?

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Can the neighbor sue me for vet expenses if her cat bit my child and is now under quarantine and needs to be cleared by a vet?

We were visiting the neighbors and my child was petting the cat and the cat bit her. The neighbor is now mad at me and I am curious if she can sue me for vet expenses because she is now required to quarantine the cat and get the cat cleared by the vet that the cat doesn’t have rabies.

Asked on October 14, 2018 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your neighbor would only have a claim if your child were teasing, tormenting, harassing, etc. the cat in a way inappropropriate for his/her age (i.e. a child your child's age should have known better) and/or if your child were too young to understand how to interact with an animal, you failed to supervise him/her, leading to him/her provoking the attack. In short, the neighbor would have to show in court (since if you choose to not pay voluntarily, they'd have to sue you) that you and/or your child were at fault in some way in causing the attack. If not at fault, you are not liabile.


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