Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Love Thy Neighbour

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - An Oregon man has filed a $1.6 million "loss of companionship" claim against a neighbour who ran over his family's 13-year-old dog, Grizz.

Raymond Weaver ran over the golden retriever and cocker spaniel mix in 2004 with a pick-up lorry, forcing the owner, Mark Greenup, to have the animal euthanised, according to a lawsuit by Greenup.

Greenup, whose claim is usually reserved for the loss of a spouse, says the dog provided each member of his family with solace, affection, friendship, love and protection.

Larry Dawson, the driver's attorney, said the dog's injuries were not serious enough to require euthanasia and wants the court to dismiss the loss of companionship claim.

"I've owned dogs and I love them dearly," said Dawson. "But they are by law personal property and you do not get noneconomic damages for personal property."

The case goes to trial on Tuesday in Clackamas County Circuit Court.