Legal News of the Day: Emotional Distress Damages for Owners of Battered Dog Upheld

Last week, the Fourth District Court of Appeal for California upheld a decision to grant the owners of a dog intentionally hit with a baseball bat $50,000 in emotional distress damages.  The court distinguished stress caused by an intentional harm from stress caused as a result of an injury to an animal caused by negligence (for example, a vet’s error).  The court cited an 1889 ruling, Johnson v. McConnell, 80 Cal. 545, 22 P. 219 (1889), noting that families are “strongly attached” to their dogs, so harm to their dogs are “keenly felt.”