$100K for medical costs: Judge to rule whether horse can sue owner for pain, suffering

PORTLAND, Ore. — A horse is looking to sue his former owner for pain and suffering.

It’s rare for lawyers to represent animals in such cases, but officials with the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland said such a lawsuit is justified for the 8-year-old American quarter horse named “Justice.”

They said Justice was taken from his owner last year, after being found hundreds of pounds underweight and with numerous health issues.

“Animals are victims of animal cruelty crimes, and second, the victims of crime have the right to sue their abuser in civil court for damages, and no one has ever combined those principles before,” said Matthew Liebman, Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Justice now lives at a horse rescue facility. His former owner was found guilty of first degree animal neglect and was sentenced to three years probation.

The horse is seeking $100,000 to cover medical costs for the rest of his life.

A judge is expected to rule on whether this case can move forward on Monday, Sept. 17.