There has been a huge award in a novel malicious prosecution case over the alleged theft of pet turkeys. In 2004, defendant Ralph Dupps accused Robert and Jennifer Klippel of turkey-napping their pets and then releasing them back into nature. While the charges were dismissed, the Klippels sued and were just awarded $4.25 million
They claim that the ordeal drove Robert Klippel to alcohol and drove Jennifer Klippel to the use of sleep aids and depression medication.
What is fascinating is that this is a lawsuit against the Dupps as opposed to the state.
The turkeys had been a long dispute over their scaring Robert Klippel’s son and defecating in the Klippel yard. A police officer allegedly suggested just shooting the birds. The Klippels admit that they took the turkeys to a wildlife preserve. The Dupps then went to police who issued warrants for petit larceny on the Klippels who spent 10 hours in jail.
The case involved arguments under nuisance and the right of owners to take such actions. The jury obviously agreed.