Is a contractor liable for the death of a homeowner’s pet if they left the gate open?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a contractor liable for the death of a homeowner’s pet if they left the gate open?

Company employees were told repeatedly to keep the gate closed when they were coming and going through the backyard because the dogs were outside. They left the gate open when my niece was gone and her dogs got out and one was killed on the expressway. Can we sue the owner in small claims court?

Asked on February 15, 2017 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue that worker and also the company (if it is an LLC or corporation) or the owner (if it is not) for the employee carelessly or negligently causing the pet's death. But in a case like this, you cannot recover money for the emotional loss--only for the actual monetary value (i.e. cost) of the pet, unfortunately.

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