Small claims judge rules pet owner must pay damages after dog di - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Small claims judge rules pet owner must pay damages after dog dies in car collision

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Dakota Dakota
Dakota Dakota
Dakota Dakota
Maggie Casarro Maggie Casarro

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A judge in Jefferson County small claims court has ruled that a man whose dog died after he ran into traffic and was hit by a car must pay for the damages that resulted from the collision.

Maggie Casarro sued the dog's owner, Ken Herrington, for $900 in damages to cover the repairs. Herrington's German Sheppard was hit and killed by Casarro back in October 2015 on Blankenbaker Lane, near the Historic Locust Grove home.

"Strangers and the community were certainly intimidated, although he was the friendliest dog you could imagine," said Herrington, a Marine veteran.

He says the dog, named Dakota, chased after a deer and got out of the yard.

"This man lost a family pet, and I'm so sorry he lost a family pet," Cassaro said.

Cassaro says she feels badly, but the dog should have been kept in the yard.

"The dog would be alive today if he was the one who would have been responsible and had not been training this dog in an unfenced and uncontrollable area," Cassaro said.

She says her insurance will not cover the damages, and the person who she borrowed the car from did not want it on their insurance, so she was left paying the bill.

Cassaro says she did the right thing and tried to help the dog.

"I was the one that turned around to come help that animal," she said. "I turned around to help the animal. I went to find the animal's owner. I brought the owner to the animal, and I stayed with him until his owner came back."

Herrington says he cannot believe someone is suing for money.

"I was stunned, absolutely astonished," Herrington said.

He countersued for $500. Herrington said that was the maximum amount allowed for the cost of the animal.

But on Thursday, Nov. 17, Judge Erica Lee Williams ruled in favor of Cassaro, writing that:

"Courts favor settlement and resolution of conflict, and this Court believes this matter in particular would have been most appropriate for resolution outside the courthouse. Nonetheless, the Court is bound to apply the law of the Commonwealth to the facts of this case. The Court finds that the defendant was negligent, per se, because his dog was running loose off of the permitted premises without restraint. Additionally, Mr. Herrington, as the owner of Dakota, is liable for the damage caused to the vehicle driven by the plaintiff. Finally, since the defendant is negligent, per se, he is not entitled to damages."

Herrington was ordered to pay $901.60, plus interest at 12 percent per year, as well as court costs of $44.67.

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