Suit: lily-seller should have warned of toxicity to cats

by Walter Olson on August 28, 2013

“The flower was packaged with a warning about not being for human consumption and about the risk of staining clothing, but there was nothing about potential harm to cats, said [Charley Gee, a] Southeast Portland lawyer.” A pet cat chewed the lily’s leaves — which are toxic to felines — and required expensive veterinary care. The suit calls lilies unreasonably dangerous and says they should be labeled with cat-specific warnings. [Oregonian]

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Cat Owner Sues Florist. | Raised On Hoecakes
08.30.13 at 5:19 am


1 captnhal 08.28.13 at 9:52 am

If there was a warning about cats eating lilies, would the cats read it?

2 Bob Lipton 08.28.13 at 12:32 pm

You’re being silly, captnhal, and you know it. Cats don’t read. The owner would read it to them.


3 John Burgess 08.28.13 at 1:15 pm

You’re both unnecessarily cruel!

There should be a little recorder that plays back the warning in cat-ese. It doesn’t matter that it might be expensive, even prohibitively expensive. It’s for the cats!

4 John Burgess 08.28.13 at 1:16 pm

And for deaf cats, then the cat version of Braille is not asking too much.

5 Bumper 08.28.13 at 1:22 pm

Continued proof that the US has too many lawyers. If only we could think of a word to describe this problem…

6 captnhal 08.28.13 at 1:44 pm

Here’s proof I’m not being silly:
You must immediately withdraw your statement and apologize or I will be forced to sue you for libel!

7 Jason Barney 08.28.13 at 1:54 pm

Can you use, “9 lives” as an affirmative defense?

8 Paul McKaskle 08.28.13 at 2:27 pm

What other pets are likely to be poisoned by lily leaves? There are many kinds of pets–snakes, alligators, monkeys, horses, tigers (only a few of those, though), many varieties of tropical fish, and probably many more in addition to dogs and cats. Do we know how many of these are likely to be poisoned by ingestion of lily leaves? If one of these is left off the warning, is this sufficient grounds for bringing a suit?

The whole idea is, of course, idiocy. Shame on the attorney(s) who brought the suit!

9 Bob Lipton 08.28.13 at 3:22 pm

I have to admit it, captnhal, that’s compelling proof that cats, like coyotes,

are literate and far more sensible than humans.


10 Robert 08.28.13 at 6:33 pm

I just asked my cat Betty what she thought. She said she wouldn’t be stupid enough to eat a lily.

11 William Nuesslein 08.29.13 at 7:17 am

I can’t understand why people pay a lot of money on cat care; they are a dime a dozen.

12 marco73 08.29.13 at 8:02 am

Why only protect cats from flowers?
Chocolate, though delicious to humans, is toxic for dogs. I don’t recall seeing any “don’t feed to dogs” warnings on my Hershey bar.

Cats are notorious for digging up plants; any gardener with cats knows not to grow whole varieties of plants that are toxic to cats.
Maybe they should put a warning label on the cat?

13 wfjag 08.29.13 at 10:34 am

The video means nothing. Those are trained professionals with years of experience doing stunts. Don’t let your cat try that at home.

14 wfjag 08.29.13 at 11:07 am

Reading the article in the Oregonian, and it all makes sense:

The cat owner, Mr. Gee, is a lawyer, and is representing the cat and himself in the suit; and
He purchased the lilies in February for his wife; and, they left the flowers where the cat could get to them.

Accordingly, the Flower Shop should join Mr. Gee and Mrs. Gee (and, also send her a Valentine’s Day reminder card as a valued customer since Mr. Gee has purchased her flowers in February in the past) as 3d Party Defendants, because the flowers came with a warning that they are toxic to humans (who can read), which alerted them to the fact that they could be toxic to cats (triggering a duty of inquiry), but, in gross dereliction of their duties as owners and haste to do whatever they were doing after he presented her with flowers (Que sound track of “Lawyers In Love”), they negligently and recklessly left the flowers in a dangerous place were a curious animal, such a cat, had access to and could eat the toxic leaves, so that the Flower Shop is entitled to indemnity, including reasonable attorneys fees and costs, in addition to the lost business and damage to reputation due to the adverse publicity of the suit (Then we’ll see if Mr. Gee knows of Mr. Lincoln’s advice as to attorney’s who represent themselves).

Query: Does anyone know if Honest Abe ever opined on lawyers who represent their cats? Or spouses?

15 Mandy 08.29.13 at 2:26 pm

Lilies are toxic for dogs as well. So are daffodils. And onions. And xylitol (the sweetener in sugar-free gum).

How far do we want this warning label thing to go?

16 peter 08.30.13 at 11:26 am

@Jason Barney.

upvote for best comment.

17 peter 08.30.13 at 11:29 am

“Reading the article in the Oregonian, and it all makes sense: The cat owner, Mr. Gee, is a lawyer”

Yep. Suddenly I understand.

18 Mandy 08.30.13 at 2:09 pm

Boogaloo the cat should sue his owners for leaving the lilies out where his could get them.

Talk about negligence and failure of duty to care!

Will no-one think of the cats??!!

I’m going to go start a Change-dot-org petition demanding that Holder’s justice department take action against the Gees.

19 Mandy 08.30.13 at 2:10 pm

“For Boogaloo!”


20 NickM 09.01.13 at 8:25 pm

You say toxic to felines as if it’s a bad thing.

I’m kidding; of course it is. It might make a dog sick when he eats the cat.

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