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By United Press International  |  May 23, 2006 at 6:30 AM
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Plaintiffs: Dog was more than property

OREGON CITY, Ore., May 23 (UPI) -- An Oregon family hopes to break legal ground by winning a large damage award for the loss of companionship of a dog killed by a neighbor.

The issue is whether pets are property or something more, The Oregonian newspaper said. Legal precedents so far have come down on the side of property, with owners able to recoup only financial losses, including the animal's monetary value and veterinary expenses.

The Greenup family of Estacada claim that their pet, Grizz, a 14-year-old mix of Labrador and cocker spaniel, was worth $1.625 million to them, The Oregonian reports. Grizz had to be put to sleep in 2004 after he was run over by a neighbor, Raymond Weaver.

Weaver, who was convicted of animal abuse and sentenced to 90 days in jail, said that the dog's death was an accident caused by the family's allowing their elderly pet to roam free. But the Greenups said that he deliberately struck the dog and almost injured their two daughters when they tried to rescue their pet.

A judge rejected a motion from Weaver's lawyer to throw out the claim for loss of companionship

Dental appliance said to give faces a lift

LONDON, May 23 (UPI) -- A British doctor says a brace that increases the gap between upper and lower teeth exercises the facial muscles and reverses some of the work of age.

The "Oralift" was developed by Dr. Nick Mohindra, a London dentist, the Daily Mail reported. According to his Web site, his satisfied patients include Janan Harb, 58, widow of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

"Orthodontic braces are often associated with gawky, self-conscious teenagers who are afraid to smile because they feel so unattractive," Mohindra said. "It's funny to think of the Oralift as a brace that beautifies, but that's what it is. Here we have a simple device, worn in the mouth, that can turn an ugly duckling into a swan."

A study reportedly found that 80 percent of subjects who used the Oralift were deemed to look between 5 and 20 years younger, the newspaper said. The device, which can be worn either at night or at all times, including during eating, is said to work by forcing the facial muscles into a new position.

Sandwich shop sued for faxing menus

TAMPA, Fla., May 23 (UPI) -- A Florida attorney is suing a local sandwich shop in small claims court for faxing daily menu specials to a Tampa law office.

The lawsuit seeks between $5,000 and $15,000 in compensation from Twins Luncheon restaurant in Oldsmar, Fla.

Tampa criminal lawyer William "Casey" Ebsary said he was tired of the unsolicited faxes crowding out legitimate correspondence and wasting paper and toner so he contacted a lawyer with expertise in a law that makes it illegal to fax business advertisements to anyone who is not a customer or has not given written permission to do so, the Tampa Tribune reported.

The law allows victims of "fax blasting" to collect up to $1,500 in fines per faxed page, civil litigation attorney James Thomas of Clearwater, Fla., said.

"It's excruciatingly disruptive" to have your fax tied up printing out advertisements, Thomas told the newspaper.

Twins Luncheon manager Mike Palazzolo said he routinely faxes his daily special to regular customers but entered Ebsary's fax number into his speed dial by mistake, the newspaper said.

British find bomb parts in their spuds

SCARBOROUGH, England, May 23 (UPI) -- World War II leftovers have Britons keeping their eyes peeled for bombs among the spuds as food processing plants are finding ordnance among imported potatoes.

Potatoes from France and Belgium have been found to contain fragments of a shell and a hand grenade, forcing evacuations at the McCain factory in Scarborough, the Yorkshire Post reported Monday.

The company's plant at Whittlesey also has had to be evacuated several times after war ordnance was found in consignments of potatoes, the Post said.

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