A California appeals court has ruled that a Contra Costa County man can recover medical expenses from whoever shot his cat with a pellet gun and seek punitive damages if the person did it deliberately.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned a lower court ruling. The lower court said the damages sought by Kevin Kimes of Brentwood could only cover the cat’s market value because cats are property.
But in its 3-0 ruling, the appeals court said different rules apply to property such as Kimes’s tabby, Pumkin, that have special value to their owners.
The ruling reinstated a lawsuit Kimes filed against his neighbors, whom he accuses of shooting Pumkin in 2005. The cat survived but required thousands of dollars in medical care.
Kimes’s neighbors deny the allegation.
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