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Barking Hound Vill., LLC v. Monyak

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 30, 2015

BARKING HOUND VILLAGE, LLC et al.
v.
MONYAK et al.; and vice versa

Cert. applied for.

Negligence, etc. Fulton State Court. Before Judge Richardson.

Hall Booth Smith, Joel L. McKie, Andrew K. Hazen, Mary A. Battey, for appellants.

Peters & Monyak, Jonathan C. Peters, Robert P. Monyak, for appellees.

Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, Katherine M. Smallwood, Bryan Cave, Jennifer D. Odom, Ann W. Ferebee, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Leonard Searcy II, amici curiae.

OPINION

Page 470

Phipps, Chief Judge.

These appeals arise out of a claim for damages for the death of a dog (a mixed-breed dachshund) owned by Robert and Elizabeth Monyak. In 2012, the Monyaks boarded their two dogs (the dachshund and a mixed-breed labrador retriever) for approximately ten days at a kennel owned and operated by Barking Hound Village, LLC (hereinafter the " BHV" ) and managed by William Furman. Three days after the Monyaks picked up their dogs, the dachshund was diagnosed with acute renal failure. It received kidney dialysis treatments to treat the condition, and died approximately nine months later, in March 2013.

The Monyaks filed suit against BHV and Furman for damages, alleging that while boarded at the kennel, the dachshund was administered toxic doses of a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication which had been prescribed to the labrador retriever, not the dachshund. The Monyaks had left the medication at the kennel, with directions to administer it to the labrador retriever. The Monyaks alleged various claims of negligence by BHV and Furman, and they sought compensatory damages, including over $67,000 in veterinary and other expenses allegedly incurred in treating the dachshund. The Monyaks also alleged fraud and deceit, and they sought damages for litigation expenses as well as punitive damages.

BHV and Furman filed a motion for summary judgment with regard to all the Monyaks' claims. The trial court issued an order denying the motion, except as to fraud; the trial court granted summary judgment as to the fraud claim.

We granted the application for interlocutory appeal by BHV and Furman, and they timely filed a notice of appeal (Case No. A14A1960), challenging the partial denial of their motion for summary judgment and the trial court's ruling as to the appropriate measure of damages for the loss of the dog. Thereafter, the Monyaks filed a cross-appeal (Case No. A14A1961), challenging the grant of summary judgment to BHV and Furman on the fraud claim.

Case No. A14A1960

1. BHV and Furman contend that the trial court erred in partially denying their motion for summary judgment. The trial court ruled as follows.

At trial, [the Monyaks] will be permitted to present evidence of the " actual value" of [the dachshund] to them, as [331 Ga.App. 812] demonstrated by reasonable veterinary and other expenses incurred in treating [the dachshund's] illness. In addition, [the Monyaks] may introduce evidence of non-economic factors demonstrating [the dachshund's] intrinsic value. ... The Court is mindful of the caveat expressed by the ...

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