Katsaris v. Cook
California Court of Appeal
180 Cal. App. 3d 256, 225 Cal. Rptr. 531 (1986)
Steven Katsaris (plaintiff) left his two dogs with two neighborhood boys while away on business. The dogs wandered onto a ranch owned by Robert and Betty Harvey (defendants). The Harveys’ employee, Melvin Kenneth Cook (defendant) shot and killed the dogs. The Harveys instructed Cook to dispose of the dogs. Katsaris returned and was informed that the dogs were missing. When Katsaris approached Betty to ask whether she had seen the dogs, she denied having seen the dogs. Ten days later, one of the teenaged boys had heard that Cook had killed the dogs and informed Katsaris. Katsaris sued Cook and the Harveys for damages, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. For the negligence claim, Katsaris argued that the Harveys were negligent in keeping guns on the ranch, supervising their employee, and withholding knowledge concerning the dogs’ deaths. For the intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress claim, Cook argued that the Harveys’ withholding of information was outrageous conduct and caused him mental anguish. Cook and the Harveys filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the killing was privileged. The trial court granted the motion. Katsaris appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Poché, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Sabraw, J.)
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