New York may be looking at another tort case that explores the inherent value of a pet versus the value of the pain of its loss. Robert Machin was walking his Boston terrier Ginger in the Bronx when a street sweeper swerved to avoid a speed bump and sucked in the small dog.
Witnesses claimed that was going too fast and that the driver was listening to headphones. Ginger was on a leash with her mate Buster when she was killed.
The common law has long refused to value a pet beyond its market value or breeding value. Any non-economic damages are related to the owner’s pain and anguish, usually in the form of a negligence or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. There is also negligence in this case to be argued.
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