If we boarded our dog at a kennel while on vacation and it sustained injuries that have cost over $2300 in veterinary bills, what should I do?

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If we boarded our dog at a kennel while on vacation and it sustained injuries that have cost over $2300 in veterinary bills, what should I do?

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Minnesota

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the kennel for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable kennel would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the kennel would your dog have been injured?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the kennel of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the veterinarian's bill.  You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages, in addition to the veterinarian's bill, should also include court costs which would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the kennel's insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the kennel's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the kennel's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the kennel prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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