Is the landlord, exterminator, or tenant responsible for vet bills if a cat is allowed to roam in the public hallway and is exposed to rat poison?

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Is the landlord, exterminator, or tenant responsible for vet bills if a cat is allowed to roam in the public hallway and is exposed to rat poison?

New tenants allowed their cats to wander the public hallway and landings of the building. A damaged packet of rat poison was discovered in the middle of the second floor landing. The packet was probably tucked well behind the radiator in the entryway of the building by the exterminator. Since at least 1 cat had been in the hallway, and possibly all 3 cats, all 3 cats were immediately taken to the vet and treated as if they had been poisoned. Tenants want the landlord to pay the vet bills, which will probably exceed $1500. Who is responsible for the vet bills?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country based upon what you have written, the owner of the cat who allegedly was poisoned is responsible for his or her pet's veterinarian expenses.

Under the laws of all states in this country, a pet owner is responsible for his or her pet and allowing a cat to wander unsupervised in a complex results in the pet owner being solely responsible for any injuries to the animal based upon the facts that you have written about.


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