Statutes / Laws

Navigation

Full Site Search

Loading...

The navigation select boxes below will direct you to the selected page when you hit enter.

Topical Explanations

Primary Legal Materials

Select by Subject

Select by Species

Select Administrative Topic


World Law

Secondary Legal Materials

Great Apes and the Law

Great Apes and the Law

Maps of State Laws

Map of USA
Share |
Illinois

West's Smith-Hurd Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated. Chapter 740. Civil Liabilities. Act 13. Assistance Animal Damages Act.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: IL ST CH 740 13/1 - 10

Citation: 740 I.L.C.S. 13/1 - 10


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   Under this Illinois statute, a physically impaired person may bring an action for both economic and noneconomic damages against a person who steals, injures, or attacks his or her assistance animal with hazardous chemicals (provided he or she reasonably knew the guide dog was present and the chemical was hazardous).  The economic damages recoverable include veterinary medical expenses, replacement costs, and temporary replacement assistance (provided by person or animal).  No cause of action lies where the physically impaired person was committing a civil or criminal trespass at the time of the attack or theft.  Reasonable attorney fees will be awarded to the prevailing plaintiff under this section or the court may award reasonable attorney's fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails in the action if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim.


Statute in Full:
13/1. Short title
§ 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Assistance Animal Damages Act.
 
CREDIT(S)
 
P.A. 91-480, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

 
13/5. Definitions

§ 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:

“Blind person” means a person who has vision of 20/200 or less with the best correction or has a visual field of 20 degrees or less.

“Guide dog” means a dog that is trained to lead or guide a blind person.

“Deaf person” means a person whose hearing disability precludes successful processing of linguistic information through audition with or without a hearing aid.

“Hearing ear dog” means a dog that is trained to assist a deaf person.

“Assistance animal” means any animal trained to assist a physically impaired person in one or more daily life activities, including but not limited to:

(1) guide dogs;

(2) hearing ear dogs;

(3) an animal trained to pull a wheelchair;

(4) an animal trained to fetch dropped items; and

(5) an animal trained to perform balance work.

“Daily life activity” includes but is not limited to:

(1) self-care;

(2) ambulation;

(3) communication;

(4) transportation; or

(5) employment.

“Physically impaired person” means any person who is permanently physically impaired, whose physical impairment limits one or more of daily life activities and who has a record of impairment and is regarded by health care practitioners as having such an impairment, requiring the use of an assistance animal including but not limited to blindness, deafness and complete or partial paralysis.

CREDIT(S)
P.A. 91-480, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.
 
 
13/10. Damages recoverable for harm or theft of assistance animal
 
(a) In addition to and not in lieu of any other penalty provided by State law, a physically impaired person who uses an assistance animal or the owner of an assistance animal may bring an action for economic and noneconomic damages against any person who steals or, without provocation, attacks the assistance animal or exposes the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal; however, an action against a person for exposing an assistance animal to a chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal may be brought under this Act only if the person against whom the action is brought knew or reasonably should have known that the assistance animal was present and that the chemical was hazardous to the assistance animal. The physically impaired person or owner may also bring an action for such damages against the owner of any animal that, without provocation, attacks an assistance animal. The action authorized by this subsection may be brought by the physically impaired person or owner even if the assistance animal was in the custody or under the supervision of another person when the theft, attack, or exposure occurred.

(b) If the theft of or unprovoked attack on an assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal described in subsection (a) of this Section results in the death of the animal or the animal is not returned or if injuries sustained prevent the animal from returning to service as an assistance animal, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the veterinary medical expenses and the replacement value of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal. In addition, the physically impaired person or owner may recover any other costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person, incurred as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal.

(c) If the theft of or unprovoked attack on an assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal described in subsection (a) of this Section results in injuries from which the animal recovers and returns to service, or if the animal is stolen but is recovered and returns to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but need not be limited to, the veterinary medical expenses, costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by another assistance animal or a person, and any other costs and expenses incurred by the physically impaired person or owner as a result of the theft of or injury to the animal.

(d) No cause of action arises under this Section if the physically impaired person, owner or the person having custody or supervision of the assistance animal was committing a criminal or civil trespass at the time of the theft of or attack on the assistance animal or exposure of the assistance animal to any chemical that is hazardous to the assistance animal.

(e) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing plaintiff in an action under this Section. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees and expert witness fees incurred by a defendant who prevails in the action if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting a claim or no objectively reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of a trial court.

CREDIT(S)

P.A. 91-480, § 10, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.

 



Top of Page
Share |