Seattle neighbor sues over barking dog — and wins $500,000 judgment

National/World News
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SEATTLE — A Washington state family could have to fork over more than $500,000 after their neighbor sued them over their barking dog — and won.

In a 36-page complaint obtained by KOMO-TV, neighbor Woodrow Thompson claimed Denise Norton’s dog, Cawper, is known for “raucously, wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking.”

The lawsuit called the dog an outrage, with intentional infliction of emotional distress, and claimed the dog’s barking caused “profound emotional distress.”

The lawsuit claims the dog got as loud as 128 decibels through double pane windows, making Cawper louder than a chainsaw and a clap of thunder, according to research from Purdue University.

Norton told KOMO she thought the lawsuit was a joke so she didn’t respond to it and that’s why she lost.

“In my head, everything was so bogus that he’d been doing, I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it was real or something,” Norton said.

The lawsuit went to a default judgment because Norton didn’t challenge it.

“The sheriff comes, puts the papers on the garage and the wall and everything and saying they were going to put the house up for sale,” Norton said.

Norton is working to fight the judgment and get the case dismissed. A court date is pending.

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