A03732 Summary:

SPONSORRosenthal L
Add §11-108, Gen Ob L
Provides for compensation of an owner for the unjustifiable injury or death of a companion animal.
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A03732 Actions:

01/28/2021referred to judiciary
01/05/2022referred to judiciary
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A03732 Committee Votes:

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A03732 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03732 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Rosenthal L
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to compensation for injury or death of a companion animal   PURPOSE: To allow pet owners to seek damages for pain and suffering from a person who negligently or intentionally caused physical injury or death to their companion animal.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends the general obligations law by adding a new section 11-108. Section two establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Despite being sentient beings, current law considers animals to be personal property. This legal shortcoming becomes particularly clear when a pet owner seeks legal recourse after their pet is intentionally or negligently harmed by the acts or omissions of another. When pet owners bring these lawsuits, they often find that they can only collect damages equal to the actual value of the animal, which may be no more than a few hundred dollars. People are unable to collect damages to cover the pain and suffering caused by the incident, to the animal or them. An injury or loss to a pet is not the same as a damaged or broken dres- ser or couch; for most people it is like losing a beloved member of the family. The suffering is only magnified when that injury results from the intentional or negligent act of another, one that could be prevented. The emotional toll far exceeds the value of the animal. Compensation for non-economic damage recognizes this and also helps to send an important message to people who have a duty to exercise care with respect to other people's pets, such as walkers, groomers and veterinarians, to name a few. Many cases have been brought against veterinarians, pet groomers, and others who pet owners claim have acted negligently or intentionally inflicted harm upon their pet. However, in these cases, pet owners often pay thousands in legal fees only to be awarded a small amount to cover the cost of their pet. This legislation will allow the courts to consid- er the bond between a pet and its owner when determining damages, further securing their status as a sentient being, rather than property.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-20: A.10405 - Referred to Judiciary   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: 30 days.
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A03732 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 28, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. L. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Judiciary
        AN ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to compensation
          for injury or death of a companion animal
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The  general  obligations  law is amended by adding a new
     2  section 11-108 to read as follows:
     3    § 11-108. Compensation for injury or death of a companion  animal.  1.
     4  In addition to any other right of action or recovery otherwise available
     5  under  law,  a  person may recover damages from another who negligently,
     6  recklessly, or intentionally causes  unjustifiable  physical  injury  or
     7  death of a companion animal.
     8    2.  In  determining  damages  for  negligently,  recklessly, or inten-
     9  tionally causing physical injury or death to  a  companion  animal,  the
    10  court  may  consider,  among  other factors, evidence regarding the bond
    11  between the companion animal and the companion animal's owner. The court
    12  may also award punitive damages where physical  injury  or  death  to  a
    13  companion  animal  was  unjustifiable  and  intentionally  or recklessly
    14  caused.
    15    3. "Companion animal" as used in this  section  shall  have  the  same
    16  meaning  as subdivision five of section three hundred fifty of the agri-
    17  culture and markets law.
    18    § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
    19  have become a law.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
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