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Question regarding pet dogs, cats..(Pets in general) New York and other states..Just as humans have medical malpractice suits.

White Plains, NY |

Is an owner of a dog and or cat allowed to file a lawsuit, for his/her pet that was treated by a veterinarian that either misdiagnosed and or mistreated and or performed a surgical procedure(s) that either caused the owners dog / pet pain, or effected , altered it's life somehow physically, dramatically. after seeing the veterinarian..? Or is it only if there is proof that the vets mistake caused the owners pet(s) to pass or worsening of symptoms? Or negligence in some way, shape or form by the veterinarian, during the vets care?
Just as humans have the right to file lawsuits for medical malpractice, pets as human companions and even considered either a family member or part of the family should also be allowed the same rights. (Owners on behalf of their respective pets).

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Pets aren't considered juridical persons, rather they're viewed more as property under the law. To the extent a veterinarian caused dame you can sue to recoup costs incurred as a result. Consult a local attorney, but I'm not sure you'll be able to pursue damages for pet.

    Don't forget to check "Helpful" if I helped you out. This response is not intended to create an attorney client relationship and is based on the limited information available at the time of the response. Before acting on anything stated or referenced in this response you should consult with an attorney of your choosing and go over the specific details of your legal circumstances. My responses are also given in the context of the laws of the State of Louisiana. To the extent this comment involves principles of law governed by another state my comment merely reflects my opinion and should not be considered legal advice.


  2. Veterinarians are subject to malpractice actions just as other licensed professionals are. There is the same difficulty in proving a vet caused the harm as there is in any other medmal case.

    Further, damages are limited to the value of the animal and the expense of treatment necessitated by the malpractice. There is no pain and suffering or loss of consortium. This limit on damages generally makes such cases economically unviable.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  3. Humankind has not yet evolved to recognize other species as sentient beings, so they are still chattel, like your television set or bicycle (how else do we justify factory animals?). Anyway, you can sue for the value of the pet and possibly for the wasted medical expenses if they were incurred as a result and exceed the value of the pet.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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