LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A District Court Judge must decide what price to put on a dog's life.
More than $900; Maggie Cassaro's cost to repair her friend's 2002 Honda Accord when it and Ken Herrington's German Shepherd, Dakota, collided on Blankenbaker Lane near River Road three days before Halloween last year?
Or is it $500; Dakota's purchase price that Herrington wants Cassaro to reimburse after Dakota died of his injuries?
Herrington, a Marine Corps veteran who retired a Colonel, characterized Dakota as a companion and therapy dog, though he was not trained to be a service animal as the federal Americans With Disabilities Act defines it.
Judge Erica Lee Williams' ruling could set precedent for all pet owners in the Metro; the liability they might face if their pet causes damage, even if the encounter kills them.
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"It stirs up a lot of emotions," Williams told both parties before their hearing Thursday afternoon.
Williams won't hear any small claims case until the litigants headed into the hallway for a last-ditch effort to settle it on their own.
Cassaro and Herrington returned in minutes; their body language making clear neither had budged.
"What this is all about is responsibility," Cassaro told reporters afterward. "I took responsibility from the minute that dog ran into the car and I stopped and went back to find the family that owned that dog."