Our Lawyers Win $4.25 Million for Clients in Turkey Dispute

Rosen Hagood April 1, 2010

CHARLESTON, SC – Two South Carolina attorneys are giving thanks for a $4.25 million jury award in February for two clients involved in a feud over turkeys.

Richard S. Rosen and Andrew D. Gowdown of Charleston-based Rosen, Rosen & Hagood represented a brother and sister from Hilton Head Island, SC who were arrested after relocating seven turkeys a neighbor was allegedly keeping as pets.

In the fall of 2004, Robert and Jennifer Klippel noticed the birds congregating in their exclusive Sea Pines neighborhood. When the turkeys began to ruin the Klippel’s lawn and frighten Robert’s young son, the two rounded them up and moved them to a nearby wildlife preserve.

That didn’t set well with a neighbor, who considered the turkeys his pets. The neighbor called authorities and worked to have the Klippels arrested for petit larceny. The siblings were arrested and spent 10 hours in a county jail before their release.

Rosen and Gowdown successfully argued during five days of court testimony that the arrest, and subsequent harassment campaign launched by the neighbor, caused the Klippels severe emotional pain and suffering.

“While the origins of the case may sound trivial, the emotional toll the neighbor exacted on this family is very real,” Rosen said. “Our clients were trying to do the right thing for these animals that clearly didn’t belong in a residential neighborhood. We’re pleased the jury agreed.”