Orange, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: Is my now ex wife liable for Lawsuit involving our dog injuring someone while we were married?

My now ex wife and I were separated at the time but we were still married and living together..while I was away one day coaching our sons football team our dog got out of the house while she was home and Dog saw another little dog and it’s owner picked up her dog and our dog a Akita subsequently jumped on the lady which caused her to fall and unfortunate needed hip surgery.. so 5 years later I myself show up in court for settlement and ex wife never showed up and I had to settle without her because they threatened to go after my home...do I have a case to sue my ex wife for half or all of the $60,000 which was the settlement amount not to mention penalty fees I incurred pulling money out of my IRA to make the first settlement payment as well as attorneys fees

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1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If it's a community debt, then she should bear her share of it. It's unclear whether your wife was a party to the litigation, and/or was aware of the settlement conference. It's also unclear whether your wife has the funds to actually contribute the $30k which might be her share. Finally, it's unclear whether your marital separation documents allocate debts/liability arising out of the ownership of the dog to you, and whether you can go back to Family Law court to attempt to recoup the $30k, or whether you must initiate an entirely new lawsuit.

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