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No proof man lied to brother about number of kittens born in litter, B.C. tribunal rules

A kitten is seen in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock) A kitten is seen in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock)

A man was denied a $5,000 payout from his brother after a B.C. tribunal dismissed his claim disputing how many kittens were born in a litter.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal released details of the dispute between Hamza and Salah Nowara Friday. The situation began in April 2023, when Hamza lent his cat to his brother so he could have it breed with his friend's cat.

According to tribunal member Micah Carmody's decision, the brothers agreed Salah would return the cat to Hamza after the kittens were born.

"Salah essentially agrees, but says he was doing Hamza a favour because the cat was in heat and causing Hamza distress," Carmody wrote, adding Salah said Hamza was to receive half the litter.

Salah told the tribunal just two kittens were born in the litter and one died a few days later. Salah's friend kept the remaining kitten.

"Hamza says that Salah is being dishonest about the number of kittens and whether they were sold for profit. However, Hamza does not explain why he thinks this except to say that it is highly unlikely for cats to have a litter of two kittens," Carmody's decision said.

"There is no objective evidence before me about how common or rare it is for a cat to have a litter of two. Also, there is no evidence that Salah sold any kittens."

The tribunal heard Hamza claim he was told he'd get to keep all the kittens. Hamza also claimed at one point the parties didn't have a verbal agreement except that his cat would be returned to him.

"Confusingly, Hamza also says several times that the parties did not have an agreement at all," Carmody wrote. "Despite this, Hamza frames his claim as a breach of contract claim."

No contract?

Carmody explained that, in order to prove a breach of contract, a valid contract must be in place. He explained Hamza hasn't proven – as is his responsibility in bringing this claim forward – that he and his brother "intended to create legal relations as opposed to simply putting two cats together and hoping for kittens."

"Even if there was a contract here, the only clear terms were that Salah would take (the) cat to his friend and return it after breeding," Carmody wrote. "I find Salah complied with those terms."

Carmody also found the parties didn't agree on who owned the kittens or what they would do if only one kitten survived. Once again, Carmody said, Hamza failed to prove a contract was breached.

"Even if he had, it would be difficult to quantify damages given that Hamza did not provide any evidence about a kitten's value," Carmody wrote.

The tribunal also heard claims from Hamza that he suffered mental distress as a result of the dispute, but Carmody determined the evidence presented to him fell "far short of establishing an injury."

All of Hamza's claims were dismissed. Top Stories

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