The Texas Supreme Court tackled the question Thursday in a case brought by a Fort Worth family. The family wants a jury to put a dollar amount on the emotional value of their beloved dog that an animal shelter mistakenly euthanized in 2009.
Jeremy and Kathryn Medlen say they're entitled to the same "sentimental damages" that someone could collect under Texas law for an irreplaceable family heirloom. Justices appeared skeptical at times, asking if a dead goldfish should be treated similarly.
Attorneys for the shelter worker being sued say siding with the family would create a standard beyond anywhere in the country.
The court isn't expected to rule for several weeks.