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Titlesort descending Citation Alternate Citation Summary Type
Missouri Veterinary Medical Bd. v. Gray 397 S.W.3d 479 (Mo.App. W.D., 2013) 2013 WL 600201 (Mo.App. W.D., 2013)

An unlicensed Missouri equine dentist (Brooke Rene Gray) appeals an order from the circuit court enjoining and prohibiting her from doing business as "B & B Equine Dentistry," where she performed equine tooth floating and other acts. In 2007, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board informed Ms. Gray that she was violating Missouri law by practicing veterinary medicine without a license. After she did not cease her activities, the Board referred the matter to the Attorney General, who then filed a petition on behalf of the Board to enjoin Ms. Gray's activities. On appeal, Ms. Gray contends that the court order violates the Missouri Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right to enjoy the "gains of their own industry." The court disagreed, finding that the State has a strong interest in regulating practices that involve public safety as is the case with veterinary medicine.

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Moreland v. Lowdermilk 709 F. Supp. 722 (W.D. La. 1989) This case concerns the untimely death of a female racehorse, whose owners brought this veterinary malpractice action against the veterinarians that treated this mare. Her owners sought reimbursement for her future potential racing earnings, her future potential earnings as a brood mare, and recovery of monies owed for veterinary services rendered. However, the court held that the sole cause of the condition that led to the mare's death was the owner's failure to administer a proper worming program to the mare, not the actions of the veterinarians. The court held that the veterinarians could not have administered treatment to save the mare, and therefore had not committed malpractice. Case
Nikolic v. Seidenberg 610 N.E.2d 177 (Ill. App. Ct. 1993)

When the pet owner adopted a dog, she signed a contract agreeing to have her dog spayed at the vet's facility and to return the dog to the vet if it was sick. For days after the surgery the dog was ill so the other vet performed exploratory surgery and repaired a cut in the dog's intestine. The pet owner filed an action to recover the medical expenses and the lower court granted the vet's motion to dismiss.  The reviewing court held that the language in the contract was not sufficiently clear and explicit to exculpate the vet from negligence because the vet was not a party to the contract and thus not a direct beneficiary of the contract.

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Posnien v. Rogers 533 P.2d 120 (Utah 1975)

The plaintiff sought to recover damages for the defendant's negligence in the diagnosis and the treatment of plaintiff's brood mare, which resulted in the mare's infertility. Plaintiff was required to show that Dr. Rogers did not exercise the care and diligence as is ordinarily exercised by skilled veterinarians doing the same type of work in the community, and that the failure to exercise the required skill and care was the cause of the injury. Experts testified at trial that the care exercised by Dr. Rogers met the standard of care of veterinarians practicing in the area, and had they been treating the mare, the treatment would not have differed substantially from that of Dr. Rogers.  The Supreme Court held that the record is clear that the plaintiff failed to sustain his burden that the care of Dr. Rogers did not meet the standard of care of other practitioners practicing in the community.

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Price v. Brown 680 A.2d 1149 (Pa. 1996) 545 Pa. 216 (1996)

The issue presented in this appeal is whether a complaint based upon an alleged breach of a bailment agreement states a cause of action for injury or death suffered by an animal that has been entrusted to a veterinarian for surgical and professional treatment.  The court agreed with the trial court that the purpose for which an animal is entrusted to the care of a veterinarian is a material fact that must be considered in determining whether a plaintiff's complaint states a cause of action as a matter of law, and that Price's complaint failed to state a cause of action for professional negligence.  The court held that allegations of breach of a bailment agreement are insufficient to state a cause of action against a veterinarian who has performed surgery on an animal when the animal suffers an injury as a result or does not survive the surgery.  

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Price v. Brown, V.M.D. 131 Montg. Co. L. R. 150 (1994) Plaintiff's bull dog went to defendant veterinarian for surgery to correct a prolapsed urethra. The dog died a few days later. The plaintiff then sought to recover the value of the dog on a strict theory of bailment. Defendant filed a preliminary objection asserting that this doctrine was inapplicable and could not afford relief. The court held that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim from which relief could be sought and dismissed the complaint. The court, however, allowed the plaintiff to amend the compliant.In holding to sustain the defendant's preliminary objection, the court reasoned that since veterinarians are part of a professional discipline, in order to recover damages for the injury or the death to an animal entrusted to a veterinarian's care, a plaintiff must prove professional negligence instead of a bailiff arrangement. Case
Quesada v. Compassion First Pet Hosps No. A-1226-19, 2021 WL 1235136 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Apr. 1, 2021) In this unpublished case, plaintiff’s cat “Amor” was euthanized after being diagnosed with heart failure disease and saddle thrombus. At the hospital, plaintiff was visibly affected by the death of his cat, who he was allowed to say goodbye to. Plaintiff also talked and sang to Amor’s body until the body was retrieved. Plaintiff was informed that during the procedure Amor had bitten one of the nurses and that state law required a brain tissue sample to rule out rabies. Plaintiff informed the veterinarian of his wish to display Amor's body for viewing prior to cremation in two different instances. Neither the procedure or alternative procedures were explained to the plaintiff. At the body’s viewing, the plaintiff discovered that his cat had been decapitated. Plaintiff became extremely emotional after discovering his cat’s head had been disposed of as medical waste. As a result of the decapitation, plaintiff developed several severe mental health issues. Plaintiff filed a claim alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and bailment. The case was dismissed for Plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff appealed the decision alleging that the lower court had mistakenly applied the standard of the bystander negligent infliction of emotional distress, instead of a direct liability claim and error in dismissing his remaining negligence and bailment claims. The court agreed with the plaintiff and reversed the dismissal and remanded for further proceedings. On the count of negligent infliction of emotional distress, the court held that plaintiff’s claim did not fall under the "bystander" liability as his severe emotional distress arose after the passing of his cat and upon seeing his cat's decapitated body. Additionally, the court stated that plaintiff’s “emotional reaction combined with the fact that defendant was twice on notice that plaintiff intended to have a viewing of his cat's body prior to cremation established that defendants owed plaintiff a duty.” Defendants breached this duty by being on notice of plaintiff emotional distress and failing to properly inform plaintiff of the typical procedure of decapitating the cat for rabies testing, inform him of alternative testing procedures, and failing to request that the cat's head be returned after decapitation and prior to the showing. Suffering of plaintiff’s illnesses was still to be determined. The court found that the plaintiff “had pleaded a direct claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.” A claim of bailment had also been appropriately pleaded since plaintiff had given defendants control of his cat's body and defendant returned it in a damaged condition. Case
Rehn v. Fischley No. C0-95-813, 1995 Minn. App. LEXIS 1539 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995).

The doctor was a veterinarian and a member of the board of directors for the humane society. The director of the humane society asked her for advice on how to clean cat cages, and the doctor gave advice and donated a bottle of formalin, whereupon the employee who used the formalin suffered permanent lung damage. The employee commenced an action against the doctor and humane society for damages.  The court held that although the doctor would not have advised using formalin if she was not a member of the board, this fact did not establish that giving the advice was within the scope of her responsibilities as a board member.

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Ruden v. Hansen 206 N.W.2d 713 (Iowa 1973)

This appeal stems from an action against a defendant veterinarian for the alleged negligent vaccination of plaintiff’s pregnant hogs (gilts).  The court articulated the standard of care: "As a veterinarian defendant was duty bound to bring to his service the learning, skill and care which characterizes the profession generally. In other words, the care and diligence required was that as a careful and trustworthy veterinarian would be expected to exercise. . . We are convinced the correct standard of the veterinarian's care should be held to that exercised generally under similar circumstances."

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Rule v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc. 604 F.Supp.2d 288 (D.Mass.,2009) 2009 WL 678744 (D.Mass.)

The plaintiff brought this action against Defendants Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc. and Wyeth Corporation, seeking economic damages suffered from the purchase and injection of her dog with ProHeart® 6 to prevent heartworm. The complaint alleged products liability/failure to warn, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and violation of state deceptive business practices, among others. In 2004, defendants recalled ProHeart® 6 in response to a request by FDA due to reported adverse reactions. This Court found that Massachusetts law follows the traditional “economic loss rule,” where such losses are not recoverable in in tort and strict liability actions where there has been no personal injury or property damage. Here, the plaintiff was barred from recovering because she has not alleged any personal injury or property damage under her products liability claim. Further, plaintiff failed to show that defendants' deceptive act caused some injury and compsensable loss. Defendants' motion to dismiss was granted.

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