In previous cases eg one in which a person was

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In previous cases (e.g., one in which a person was awarded $20,000), the award was not based on the value of the dog, but on the “emotional distress” of the guardian (in other words, what mattered to the court was the suffering of the human )
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Ferment—law, the public’s concern In the LA case, the jury determined that the Labrador-mix, Shane, would have been worth $10 on the open market Yet the jury agreed that the dog’s vet was liable for the dog’s death … so … … so “Jurors ordered the veterinarian to compensate Bluestone $9,000 for the veterinary bills and $30,000 for the dog’s ‘unique’ value to his owner.”
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Ferment—law, the public’s concern The defense attorney, who has asked for a new trial and a court order invalidating the jury’s verdict, said … … “The dog was 3 years old, a mutt— there was nothing unique about it.”
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Implications for malpractice premiums? “Noting that placing a high value on the loss of a pet is becoming increasingly common, [plaintiff’s attorney] said that the verdict reflects jurors’ willingness to regard pets as far more than property .” Will this make malpractice premiums rise? Chris Green, “The Future of Veterinary Malpractice Liability in the Care of Companion Animals”, Animal Law 10: 163-250, 2004.
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Washington State Monday, May 9, 2005 “Judge awards $45,480 in cat's death” NOT a malpractice case … … but relevant to value
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Washington State SURVEY: Do you think a pet’s life is worth more than $45,000? 43% Yes — the judge made the right decision 36% No — the amount is too high 21% Not worth a monetary judgment at all Total votes: 3,702 NOTE: Unscientific survey
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What/Who is driving us toward greater recovery? Is it just greedy attorneys and disgruntled patients?
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Human-animal bond Veterinary profession, particularly through its emphasis on the human animal bond, is itself creating a compelling argument in favor of increased value for companion animals …
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Be prepared … Be prepared: hot letters, heavy rhetoric from attorneys
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Background Some good news …. … numbers-wise, veterinary malpractice is NOT a huge issue PLIT has 2600 claims per year out of 43,000 insureds Human injuries are 6% of the claims, and 12% of the dollars paid out
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The basics Drs. Linda Ellis of AVMA-PLIT next year will discuss malpractice insurance Will emphasize how much judgment is involved in practicing veterinary medicine And how important it is to document that good judgment And how important it is to respond well – PLIT’s Winter 2006 newsletter → →
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“Three ‘Dos’” when malpractice strikes 1.
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  • Fall '06
  • Waldau
  • Law, Medical malpractice, Veterinarian, Malpractice, Veterinary Malpractice Liability

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