Woman Seeks $1.4 Million in Cat Death Lawsuit




Woman Seeks $1.4 Million in Cat Death Lawsuit

A Portland cat owner filed a $1.4 million negligence lawsuit against a neighbor after his dogs allegedly attacked and killed her cat.

According to the lawsuit, eighty-six-year-old Janet Dumas let her pet cat Clyde into her front yard in May when he was mauled by two dogs belonging to her neighbor, Chad F. Christensen.

The suit claims that Christensen, who lives three doors down, occasionally let his dogs loose in the neighborhood. “In an attempt to cover up the incident,” Christensen found the dead cat and disposed of it without telling Dumas what happened.

Another neighbor tipped Dumas off about the attack. Dumas’ family confronted Christensen who admitted his dogs killed Clyde and that he removed the cat’s body. He claimed the attack was an accident and that he tried to save the cat by rushing him over to the veterinarian. Christensen also alleges the attack occurred in his front yard.

The lawsuit describes Clyde as a friendly cat who offered Dumas “comfort, companionship, affection, entertainment, and a sense of being needed.”

Dumas seeks $500,000 for damages including emotional distress caused by her neighbor’s negligence and $100,000 for trespassing, nuisance, taking of property, and false imprisonment. The last claim refers to the fact that the dogs are permitted to roam free creating a threat that prevents Dumas from “the use and enjoyment of her yard.”

“You hear about people who are mauled or killed by dogs that are allowed to run free,” said Dumas’ son and her attorney John Dumas. “You don’t know what a dog that has killed a cat could do to a child. It’s the threat of the dogs that is part of the problem.”

This is the second largest animal death lawsuit in the Portland area this year. On May 31, a jury ordered a man to pay his neighbors $56,400 for intentionally running over their family dog. This is the highest amount awarded in Oregon in a case that involves a family pet. 

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