If my cat bit our neighbor's toddler after provocation, can she sue us?
Question Details: My neighbor visited our home for a play date with her new born baby and her toddler approximately 2 years old. My wife and my 2 1/2 year old daughter were present, as well as another neighbor who had her 2 year old son. While my wife was away in the kitchen, the first little girl started poking our cat with a cat toy similar to a stick. According to the other neighbor, this little girl's mom just told her that, "Doing that was not nice" but she never attempted to physically separate them. Her daughter continued poking the cat until he snapped and bit her in the forearm. She cried for around 2 minutes and then she stopped. Her skin was not broken and there was no bleeding whatsoever. However, her mom freaked out and started asking for antibacterial ointment, which my wife provided. Then in front of us, she called her husband to inform her about the incident and she also called her dad who is a doctor. The bite left a mark and she said that she may take her daughter to the pediatrician. We confirmed that ours is an indoor cat with all the required vaccines. Our cat never bit anybody before and there are no complaints about him. The little girl's dad is a lawyer and we are concerned they may consider suing. Any thoughts?
1) When someone can be shown to have provoked an animal, they cannot recover compensation for any resulting injuries. (While the child was a toddler, and so is not expected to act as anything other than a toddler, her mother was there and could have separated them; the mother's negligent failure to act should eliminate liability but putting the fault on her family).
2) You can only sue for actual medical costs injured and, for long-lasting injuries causing significant life impairment, some amount for "pain and suffering." Based on what you write, there does not appear to anything they could get compensation for in this situation.