Ruthie’s Revenge: Denver Woman Wins $65,000 For Dead Dog

There is an extremely high (and possible record for Colorado) award for the death of a pet n Denver. Robin Lohre will receive $65,000 from Push Maids for the death of her dog, Ruthie, after the cleaning crew let her out of the house and the dog was hit by a car.


Lohre runs the popular boutique Talulah Jones in Denver. She says that the maid service let the dog out and she was hit by a car. They never called a veterinarian or Lohre.

In class, we often discuss the limitations of the treatment of pets as chattel — allowing owners to recover only the market worth of the animals as opposed to their true worth as a family member. The only way to value a pet over the market price and costs is to cycle those costs through a pain and suffering claim by the owner. Lohre did make an emotional distress claim in this case. The high award in this case was secured with the help of a default judgment for failure of Posh Maids to appear.

Lohre said that she would take the dog when Posh Maids came to clean her home but was told that they would watch after the dog. After two-and-a-half hours, she received a call from the Maid Service that they were done. When she came home with her young daughter, she found Ruthie dead under a table. When she called the Maid Service, they admitted that she had been hit by a car but said that she was alive when they left her in the house “whimpering.” The owner of the maid service, Miranda Pallone, later said that she was trying to contact Lohre and that the dog limped back into the house on her own but was growling at the maids. She said that in such an “aggressive dog situation” she felt that she should have the maids leave the home. Pallone also said that she offered $2000 against the advice of her lawyer, but Lohre says that that is a lie and no such offer was ever made.

The judge found the Denver-based cleaning company, Posh Maids, responsible for the dog’s negligent death.

What is also interesting is that this was the first service with the company. Lohre had purchased a Living Social coupon for a three-hour housecleaning for Posh Maids at the discount price of $49. It will now cost the service $65,000.

The default is a surprising turn in the case. It is unclear why the company would not show up for the case unless Pallone did not want to testify under oath or had some other inhibition. Defaults not only deny the defendant an opportunity to deny liability but to reduce the amount of the award.

Source: Denver Channel

7 thoughts on “Ruthie’s Revenge: Denver Woman Wins $65,000 For Dead Dog”

  1. Clearly, cleaning services in the U.S. should simply call the police on some pretext to enter homes they’re about to service. After the SWAT team casually executes all the animals in the home, the cleaners can proceed without fear of accidentally causing any pet deaths.

  2. Those cleaning people should have been questioned by the cops and if they have any pets the authorities should take them from them. If they dont show up in court then they get what the judge awards with no complaint afterwards. If this was a race horse with trophies from Churchill Downs to its name there would be no shock and awe over the amount of the judgment. But in my dog pack Judgment is Mine Sayeth The Dog.

  3. A single ruling like this could damage this company beyond its ability to survive. Many people don’t realize just how small the profit margins are for many companies. How would you even determine the damages? Cremation or burial costs? Perhaps the Veterinary bill trying to keep the pooch alive. I don’t know about you, but a huge number of people believe that the lower court judges are often times poorly versed on the law and the upper courts are full of corruption. Instead of relying on their sensibility we are finding that you have to put the law in front of their faces and hope they read it and are not already prejudiced. Even with doing that, it obvioulsy doesn’t always provide justice. It’s quite shocking as to the amount of bias, corruption and diffiuclty their is in obtaining justice. Now wonder there is the huge number of attorneys that don’t like their jobs. We appear to do better using mediators in real disputes. It’s the unwarranted suits that appear to give us greater problems. I’m just a starting paralegal at a law firm but have been fighting for the repeal of may laws throughout my life so I ended up trying to assist others or go pre se most obvioulsy on the defense side. I’ve always believed that obtaining justice is the solution to a true civil society and why we are not there yet. There has to be a better system. Most of the world utilizes “loser pays” but I don’t really know the proven benefits having only read some basics on the issue. One fact that I believe there is enough evidence to support, is that all government controled judicial systems have a built in bias towards the state and the protection of the participants (attorneys) through the various licensing laws that have an adverse effect on justice. Even the accreditation of universities have forms biases umongst the participants.

  4. Supreme Court of VA, circa 1988. I was waiting through the first five cases because mine was scheduled sixth. (I had briefed my appeal pro se and gained my attorney’s compliments for it; then I got awarded an oral argument which he said was not done very often so he told me that was a “feather in my cap,” so there I sat with my feathered cap, listening, trying to figure out who had a good argument, who had a poor one, which way the judges were leaning, etc.) There were two (IMHO) good appeals with poor lawyers, and then one poor appeal with a poor lawyer, then one good appeal with a good lawyer, and then a guy went up to the podium. I will try to reproduce what happened:

    “Ya Honnaz, may it please the coat, I’m [forgot name] from Christianbug Vajinnya. This heah is a coon doag case.”

    [Now I am thinking, “Oh that must be a term of art. Maybe it means a case that bays in the night, a case that follows a certain scent, a case that…]

    “My client’s doag was killed by the defendant’s vee-hickul.”

    [OH NO, does he mean a beagle got run over? Oh poor little thing!]

    “And the jurih, Yah Honnaz, did bring in a verdick, but I b’leeve the jurih got confused on the isshas of LIE-ability and Vall-yuh, an most especially, Yah Honnaz, becoze there was two [holds up two fingers] experts what testified tuh — that doag was worth between foe-teen hunnert dollaz or two [fingers up again] broken beagles.”

    OMG

    The guy was talking about a dead dog!

    I used to write songs that would illustrate something about the law, and was writing a rap opera (because my kid and his friends liked rap, but it was the early rap and not as violent) about my own interminable ridiculous case (It included such songs as the “Constipational Rap” and the “Bad Judge Rap” but most of that stuff is lost), So I wrote the song, “May it please the coat.” It was sung to the music of “Turkey in the Straw.” I can only remember one or two verses:

    “May it please the coat,
    Well Yohonnaz listen here,
    Let me put my stoarih in yoh honnable ear,
    Well the jurih mighta maybe coulda
    didn’t understann, may it please…the…coat.

    May it please the coat,
    Well the doaggie, he is dayd.
    The defendant’s vehicle knocked him in…the…hayd.
    And the jurih mighta maybe coulda
    didn’t understann, may it please..the…coat.

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