After a 3-hour cleaning job went awry in August 2011, Posh Maids faced a lawsuit attempting to hold the company responsible for the death of a client's dog. Now nearly ten months later, attorneys with The Animal Law Center have announced a $65,000 ruling for the woman.
“The ruling sets a damages precedent that animals are worth more than their replacement value,” said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of The Animal Law Center in an emailed statement. “When we lose a pet, we do suffer emotional distress and heartache, just as we would with any other member of our families.”
When Robin Lohre originally hired the company, she asked if her dog could remain at the house while she ran errands. She was concerned her 18-month-old dog might be a nuisance, but was assured the pooch, 'Ruthie,' could stay.
Lohre and her 6-year-old daughter left the house to go run errands. When they returned after the cleaning had finished, the two discovered Ruthie dead underneath their dining room table. According to KMGH, Posh Maids told Lohre the dog had been hit by a car, but was alive when the employees left the home and "whimpering a little."
According to reports, the employees had not attempted to contact Lohre when the accident happened or seek veterinary care for Ruthie.
"Right as the girls were locking up the house and leaving, the dog slipped out." said Posh Maids owner Miranda Pallone to 9News. "They were having problems with the door handle and that's when they called me... they said that she [the dog] had been hit by a car and seemed fine when they left, but she was whimpering."
"It's such a terrible tragedy," Pallone elaborated to The Denver Post. "We honestly feel we did everything in our power to make sure everything was OK. We had to move the maids from a potentially unstable situation."
The Animal Law Center believes this could be the largest court judgment for the death of a pet in Colorado.