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Was at walmart yesterday leaving with my Elderly Fathers'

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Was at walmart yesterday...

Was at walmart yesterday leaving with my Elderly Fathers' Yorkie when a pitt bull entered the doors to the store unleashed and no owner and attacked and killed my Dad's dog. I am devistated and worried to death about my Dad.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Florida.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

It was just me and my Dad's Dog. The police showed up along with animal control. I did write a report it was brief because I was in major shock...still am.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I just want to know if there is anything that we can do. My Dad's dog was his only companion and they just moved to be closer to family for emergency sake. I am worried about my Father and he wants to sue I don't know if he can. the Dog was not a service dog I guess, and I thought he was but the humane society man stated that is a problem.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/11/2017
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 7 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 7 months ago

Good evening,

I'm so very sorry to hear about what happened. Having owned dogs in the past I know how they are really like a part of the family.

While your father could sue for negligence for the owner having the dog off the leae, unfortunately because pets are treated like property under the law, much like a car or a piece of furniture, damages would be limited to the price of the dog.

I can appreciate that you are in shock over what happened, but a claim of emotional distress likely would not be successful here. The Florida Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that a discernible physical injury is required to state a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. See,e.g., Zell v. Meek, 665 So.2d 1048 (Fla. 1995). Likewise,Florida continues to adhere to the "impact rule."

The impact rule bars recovery for purely psychological injuries International Ocean Tel.Co. v. Sanders, 14 So.148 (1893). The "impact rule" requires that before a plaintiff can recover damages for emotional distress caused by the negligence of another, the emotional distress suffered must flow from physical injuries the plaintiff sustained in an impact. In Sanders, a telegraph company was 60 hours late in delivering a message to the plaintiff, that his wife was dead or dying. The plaintiff initially stated a simple breach of contract case, but added a claim for the emotional distress, based upon his loss in assisting his ailing wife, during her last hours. Without physical impact, the court reasoned that "pain of mind , and injury to feelings and affections" are beyond the reach of the courts to compensate. In other words, there was no way to mete out in hard currency, what is spiritually intangible. Id. at 448.

The Supreme Court again addressed the issue of negligent infliction of emotional distress in Gilliam v. Stewart, 291 So.2d 593 (Fla. 1974). In Stewart, the plaintiff was lying in her bed when she heard two cars collide, and ultimately felt the impact with the side of her home. She immediately went outside to see if anyone was hurt and let people come in to use her phone. Within fifteen minutes she went back to bed with chest pains. This case was distinguishable from Sanders, in that the plaintiff did suffer some discernible physical injury (a cardiac arrest), however, the injury was not the product of any prior physical impact. Accordingly, the Court denied recovery.

In other words, because you only suffered psychological trauma, but not physical injury, any claim you may have would be barred. I'm sorry I cannot give you better news. Please let me know if I can clarify anything or provide additional information.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I tried to get the animal off of him I did get hurt pepper spray all over me in my eyes I think my wrist is sprained however haven't gone to dr yet
Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 7 months ago
You may have a claim for your physical injuries (you are right that a medical diagnosis should be made) although because the injuries do not sound severe any economic recovery may be small. Additionally, because the dog was not a support animal from what you said and therefore likely should not have been in the store, while the other owner was negligent, it could also be argued that you have comparative liability for bringing your father’s dog. Please understand I’m not trying to discourage you - I only want you to have all the facts should you pursue something.
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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 7 months ago
I would also tell you that if you wish to try and argue negligent infliction of emotional distress, you will need a diagnosis and should be able to show a course of treatment, such as ongoing counseling and/or medication given by a doctor for PTSD or anxiety.
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Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Attorney replied 7 months ago

Just checking in to see if there is anything I could clarify or additional information you needed about this matter? If so, please reply, I'm certainly happy to help!

Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page, as this is the ONLY way experts like myself are credited by this website. Thank you.

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