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?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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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


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

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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