Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Personal Injury for Oregon

Q: I signed a contract under duress in a suicidal psychotic state that can be verified by my doctor. Can it be dismissed?

I signed a document under duress during a bipolar episode which my doctor can verify.

An animal shelter OBTAINED PROPERTY of pecuniary significance (a doctor prescribed emotional support animal) BY FALSE PRETENSE from an incapacitated person (in a mixed suicidal depressive psychotic state).

This animal shelter admitted in small claims court to lying. They had no intention of adopting out my FIV+ cat. They just wanted to euthanize him, which is what they did. But they did not get in trouble. I didn’t think to bring my doctor’s note to court. Is there anything more I can do? This betrayal led to loss of employment, public humiliation, a severe long term case of paranoid delusions and ultimately I ended up needing SSDI.

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You are not likely to be able to disavow the contract and even if you did, it sounds like it cannot be reversed at this point. The most you are likely to possibly have is a claim for the market value of your now deceased cat - i.e. replacement cost. Unfortunately, in the legal world, pets are not treated any different than if they owed you for a chair or table - all you are likely to get, if anything at all, is the price of buying another cat. Sorry but I think you are best off moving on.

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