Most people get a dog for the love and affection but if you show your dog you also choose it based on breeding value. That is where our dog semen lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania.
You read that right; Linda Blackie and Miriam Thomas sued a veterinary hospital that accidentally destroyed over a hundred sperm samples from their prize-winning standard poodles. The samples were collected and cryogenically frozen but accidentally defrosted in 2009, according to Centre Daily Times.
Apparently poodle sperm carries a high price because the owners asked for over $300,000 in compensation. The jury had to determine how much each sample was worth.
The five dogs whose samples were destroyed were valuable breeding specimens because of their prestigious lineage, reports Huffington Post.
The dogs were all pure-bred standard poodles and one of them won Best of Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1991. Those kinds of credentials make the samples more valuable for breeding.
Mt. Nittany Animal Hospital argued the samples weren't as valuable as the women claimed. While the lineage may have been prestigious the samples were of variable quality from 'moderately good to extremely poor.' That would make them less valuable, according to the veterinary hospital.
There doesn't seem to be a dispute over whether the hospital was at fault for destroying the samples. If it's clear that a party did cause negligent damage then the real question for the jury is how to value the harm.
To determine the value of unusual items, such as dog sperm samples, jury members may not be able to look at market price to determine the harm caused. Testimony is then the most important factor.
In order to win a case like this, the women had to show real harm not just speculation about what they could have gotten.
Not sure how to separate speculation from real facts? Talk to your attorney about what information will be most important at a hearing.
The jury was apparently swayed more by the poodle owners than the vet because they awarded the women $200,000 for their troubles. As for the poodles, it's unclear whether they'll get some extra 'attention' to replace what was lost.
- Women sue Pa. hospital over destroyed dog semen (Associated Press)
- Woman Who Mailed Puppy Won't Get it Back (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Prosecutor's Can't Charge FL Man for Having Sex with Dog (FindLaw's Legally Weird)