Chico, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for California

Q: My indoor cat mysteriously started limping while under my roommate's care. Is she part responsible for his vet bill?

1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question raises two issues, first, did the roommate breach a duty of due care, and second, was that breach the cause of the limp? The mere fact that the indoor cat was in the care of the roommate does not provide enough proof to show the roommate breached a duty of care, because the roommate does not have complete and exclusive control over the cat- they do what they want and can injure themselves without any encouragement from us. Your roommate did not become the guarantor of your cat's good health by caring for it in your absence, only to use due care. Since you would have a very difficult time proving the roommate did something to the cat (you weren't there to witness it) you never get to the issue of causation. Sorry to hear your cat has a limp, but its your cat and you are responsible for its care.

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