Did your mother swaddle you in a cute little quilted flannel blanket when you were an infant? Were you still clinging to it as a toddler, sucking the thumb on one hand and holding the coveted coverlet to your face with the other?
Did you have a cute kiddie name for it like “blankie” or “lovey”?
Do you still have the small remaining fragment of that blanket tucked away somewhere in a drawer or scrap box? If so, you’ve joined the ranks of those folks who treasure the saved baby blankets relics.
Imagine how you would feel if some busybody decided it was time to clean up your house and threw away that scrap of fabric.
You’d be distraught at the loss and outraged by the insensitivity of the person responsible. Seeing how upset you were, the guilty party might offer to buy you a new baby blanket, and that would only make matters worse.
“But that was my favorite blankie,” you’d retort. “I’ve had that blankie since I was a baby. You couldn’t possibly replace it. It had sentimental value.”
The problem with sentimental value is that it’s impossible to quantify objectively. For that reason, among others, sentimental value can’t be compensated under Texas state law.
You may think the remnant of your baby blanket is worth thousands of dollars, but don’t expect a court to validate your feelings. The same goes for your favorite Barbie doll (assuming it was not a collector’s item), your first bicycle, the ticket stub from the Jethro Tull concert you attended as a teen, or even your pet ant, Skippy.
Just this month, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed that state law does not allow for emotional damages in the loss of a pet.
There are certain invaluable sentimental things you can’t put a price on, so don’t even try.