Non-Economic Damages for Animal Loss: Assessing the Legalities, Realities as well as Economic Consequences of Such Awards for the Animal Health Industry

September 14, 2016 1:00pm

Dr. Kent McClure
General Counsel
Animal Health Institute

Bonnie Lutz
Shareholder
Klinedinst PC (Santa Ana, CA) (Chair of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee)

Phil S. Goldberg
Partner
Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. (Washington, DC)

At time of press, an appeals court in Georgia is reviewing a matter in which a pet owner is seeking non-economic damages for the loss of a pet. This is an area replete with controversy. While some argue that contrary to established law, pets are more than property and chattel, other argue that should that classification change, the social and economic consequences of such an award would do more harm than good to animal care. This panel will explore this issue and line of cases which seek to compensate for loss of animal companionship. Points of discussion will include:

  • Analysis of Georgia case and other similar court matters and dispositions
  • Animal health industry position on non-economic damages
  • Evaluating just compensation to pet owners vs. cost of animal care in future and other trickle down affects