From Davis-Stirling Newsletter…Cat Trapped in Roof, Is Contractor or Owner Responsible?

Here’s a question from Adams Kessler’s Davis Stirling newsletter…

Reprinted from by Adams Kessler PLC


QUESTION: Who is responsible when roofers accidentally roof a cat inside the roof? The roof is flat and has no access or crawl space. The laborers have conflicting stories about seeing the cat on the roof. Now the owner can hear the cat crying and I need to know if the roofer is responsible to pay for cutting into the space and retrieving the cat. The HOA has not made final payment on the roof. The owner lives on the top floor and lets her cat on the balcony where it jumps up to the roof. We think it got into the rafters during the night and stayed there when the roofers completed the roof the next day.

ANSWER: The cat’s owner should pay for the retrieval. Instead of allowing her cat to roam when she knew construction was in process, she should have exercised control over her pet.