Can I sue my neighbor for letting rat poison in my yard and killing my dog? 14 Answers as of January 13, 2016

My neighbor is aware I had a small dog. She owns the home but does not reside there. Can I sue her for letting rat poison fall into my yard after my dog ate it and died?

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S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
Theoretically you could file a complaint. In reality it would probably difficult to show that you neighbor had knowledge of this contingency being likely to happen and then failed to take reasonable steps to avoid the harm. You likewise would not recover much in the way of damages for the loss of your pet. Perhaps you would recover the cost to purchase another dog, and that would be only in the event that you convince the court that your neighbor was negligent and that her negligence resulted in the death of your pet.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/13/2016
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
You might have a cause of action, but causation will be difficult to prove. Also can you collect a judgment from this person even if you could prevail? You might want to consult a personal injury lawyer. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/12/2016
Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
First, you have to be able to prove what killed your dog. Second, you have to prove damages. In Oklahoma, you can recover your veterinarian bill if you incurred one in attempt to save the dog and you could recover its fair market value. For instance, if the dog was pure-bred and you had papers, that value would be much higher than an ordinary breed.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 1/12/2016
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2016
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
You can for her negligence. You will only recover the value of the dog as property, but now for its emotional value to you.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 1/11/2016
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Not if she did not have control over the house. In other words, if there was a tenant, then the tenant would be responsible. If the home was not occupied, you would have to prove that she knew (or reasonably should have known) that the rat poison was in a place that would allow it to fall into your yard.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Maybe, I need more facts. There question is the proof of the amount of the loss, which, in the case of animals and livestock, is the cost of their replacement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Yes, if you can show she was negligent in allowing the poison to get onto your property. But since dog, unfortunately, are considered to be personal property like furniture, you can only collect for the cost of getting a replacement dog and any vet bills incurred. You can not sue for emotional distress. Her home owner's insurance should cover the damage claim. Sorry about the loss of your dog.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, if she was the party who placed the poison there. You should also bring this matter to the human society/police, possible criminal action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    You would have a difficult time, you would need to prove she knew the rat poison went in your yard and that a reasonable person would have known a dog would eat it. As a pet owner, I am sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, the hurdles you must over come to obtain victory would be very difficult. Remember, though that is my opinion and other opinions may vary. Once again, I am sorry for your loss.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Yes, if you can show your neighbor knew or should have known it would get in your yard, and you can show your dog didn't get it in their yard. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Correll Law Firm, PLC
    Correll Law Firm, PLC | Beau Correll
    It depends. If the neighbor was negligent and your dog ate rat poison in your yard. But I am not certain they were if they mainly just owned the home.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/11/2016
    Morrin Law Office
    Morrin Law Office | Robert A. Morrin
    Yes, you can sue your neighbor for the death of your dog if you can prove she negligently allowed rat poison onto your property. Your recovery would likely be overshadowed by your attorney's fee though.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 1/11/2016
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