Visitor Question

Accidental Killing of My 3 Dogs…

Submitted By: Tracey (MS)

I had a building contractor working on my new home. He or one of his employees turned the power off to the air conditioned building where I was keeping my dogs (3 English bulldogs) while the building of our home was being completed. Yes, they knew the dogs were inside the building and that the air conditioning was necessary.

One of the female dogs was also pregnant at the time. Can the contractor be held financially responsible for the death of the animals?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Tracey,

If one of the animals died you might have a claim against the contractors. But without the actual death of one or more of the animals it would be mere speculation to comment on whether the contractors would be liable.

That speculation would have to include a knowledge of the contractors’ intent. In other words, did the contractors maliciously intend to harm the dogs by shutting off the electricity, or did they shut off the electricity as a safety preventive measure so as not to electrocute themselves while working?

You also don’t mention how high the temperature was at the time the contractors were working on your home. If the temperature was at a level which would not in and of itself be dangerous, then the liability of the contractor evaporates rather quickly.

Next time you have work done on your home you should ask the contractors if it will be necessary for them to turn off the power. If so, make arrangements for your dogs to stay at a cooler location.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 27, 2012

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