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Man Runs Over Dog and Sues Dog Owners

I heard about this this morning on MPR and could hardly believe it. This past January Jeffrey Ely hit a dog near Cloquet and kills it instantly. Now he is suing the owners for $1100 to cover damage to car and lost work time. The family is countersuing for $2400.

Um, ya know, crap like this happens, folks. Who's to blame? The driver, probably not. The family? Unlikely. The dog? Hardly. It seems to me when a pet is hit by a car either everyone is to blame or no one is to blame, unless there are extenuating circumstances, which I don't see here.

Anyone want to take a side in this?

DNT | Bemidji Pioneer | Fox 9 (Twin Cities) | WCCO (Twin Cities) | Star Tribune | MSNBC


Dog v. Purina

The purina dog food company should be punished for creating a dog food that doesn't enhance the clients speed when crossing a road. The guilty party should pay a restitution of 1.5 million dollars for grief counseling, memorial and funeral costs, replacement fee of animal, and court costs.

A while back, I heard the same story, except the driver had struck and killed a cyclist and sued the family of the deceased for damages to the car.

As for this case, if the owner was not in control of the dog, I guess the driver has a right to compensation.

Not that I agree with it.

Are the actual people suing or is it their insurance companies?

I heard the same story before, except the car owner was suing the family of a four-year old boy that he had hit!!!

And good point Lucie. I think most of the "frivolous lawsuits" clogging our courts are from/the result of insurance companies trying not to pay unless forced to.

In the interesting of saving someone a bit of time, the DNT story is the basis for all the other story links included with this post (Strib, WCCO, etc.). Those other links are stripped-down wire versions of the DNT story.

Support your local paper!

Drama in the Northland...

Man strikes dog.

Man seems to have a lack of remorse.

Enter many people...

Many people: Dog's are people too!

Man: My car is busted and needs repairs, and it's not my fault!

Family: It's not our fault our dog slipped through!

Man: Well, darn you. I'll sue!

Family: You cold-hearted bastard.

Director: Hey, Man, are you on cue?

Man: Yeah, I'm here...

Man: You should watch your dog.

Family: You should watch your damn driving!

Man: That's it, I'll take this to court. You don't own the road, just your dog.

Family: Fine! We'll send a cute picture of our dog to DNT! Take that! Phht!

I should add to this (for background) that I had a long-time canine friend when I was young. The little guy frequently escaped the back yard by, believe it or not, "climbing" the fence (he was horny, I guess). A kind woman showed up after running him over with her car, the dog in her arms. No suing, no recompense, just a simple nod of agreement that accidents happen.

I would need to know if these were people who routinely let their dog run loose. If so, they are to blame. If the dog was usually on a leash or in a fenced yard and just this one time got loose, then no one's to blame.

What a jerk. Kill someone's pet dead, then sue the heartbroken family for fender damages to your fixable, non-living piece of metal. I can just feel the overflowing compassion and empathy.

What a stupid society that lets stuff like this happen.

I had a neighbor on Superior Street near Hawthorne Rd who never tied her dog when it was outside. Not surprisingly, the dog went out onto the street one day and got hit--survived but lost a leg.

The owner called it "bad luck". I called it "bad parenting". I lived next door to her for several years, and my dog never touched that pavement...

What Rebecca said is exactly right--people who let their dogs run around without a leash are causing a hazard. If the people made an effort to contain the dog and it still happened, then it was just an accident...

Anyone saying a word against the driver's decision to sue is an absolute moron and I'm glad that you're not a judge. What did the driver do wrong to receive damages to his car that resulted from the dog owner's lack of effort to keep the dog inside?

The driver is a bully and a jerk. What damage could a 10-pound anything do to an 11 year old car that would affect its value? More importantly, if he would have hit a human he would have likely been liable for not paying attention to his driving. Karma will not be his friend; everyone knows his name, which is now aka: whiner!

If he was out driving and hit a deer/skunk/road debris instead of a dog, he'd see what he could get his insurance to cover and suck up the rest.
The dog snuck out of the house and didn't have a history of running loose. He should have realized that sometimes no one is at fault and just move on (or get better insurance).

looks like the judge tossed the suit: link

This was a black dog running across the street at night. The dog's owner should have been more careful. The dog is property (in the eyes of the law) and is not treated as a person. The car owner is entitled to damages that the dog caused. This wasn't an accident either. This was totally preventable by training the dog to not run out the door. The dog owner is a thief as well- imaging suing for the cost of not only the property that was lost, but for the property to be replaced as well. Can't double dip, but this is moot since the dog owner will end up paying for car damages and get nothing back.

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