New Jersey's Supreme Court says a dog owner cannot sue for emotional distress after seeing another dog kill her pet.
In a ruling Tuesday, the court affirmed a lower-court ruling that awarded Joyce McDougall $5,000 for the loss of her dog, Angel. The Maltese-poodle mix was mauled by another dog in Morris Plains five years ago.
The lower court ruled McDougall was entitled to more than the cost of a new puppy. But it threw out her claim that she should be compensated more because she witnessed her 9-year-old pooch's violent death.
In a unanimous ruling, the state Supreme Court says emotional distress damages apply only if the person sees the traumatic death of a human who is a close family member.
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