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Discussion Starter #1
Oh wow, this is huge news for all of us pet owners. Before this landmark ruling, pet owners were left out in the cold when it came to their emotional suffering over losing a pet. All one could sue for was the value of the pet...things have just changed!!!

"This Could Change Everything

Written By: Susan Thixton11-14-2011Categorized in: Pet Food News, Pets

Though this is just a beginning, the door has finally been opened. The Texas Court of Appeals has determined that Pet Owners can sue for "special value" -such as sentimental value - with the loss of a pet. This is huge.

Jeremy and Katherine Medlen of Forth Worth Texas have pushed an issue that can change the future for all of us. Their dog, was put to sleep at the city's animal control center, despite the family having a hold put on the dog. The family took the issue to court..."

For the rest of the story...

This Could Change Everything
 

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Right IS Might! It is Right that pet parents should be able to sue for sentimental value when someone or something (like pet food) recklessly kills their pet. The industry makes billions off of the human bond between us and our pets, it is time they are held responsible for careless actions.

Three Cheers for Texas! Three Cheers for Jeremy and Katherine Medlen! Avery...your family has stood up for the rights of all pet parents and their actions can save many lives. I'm sure they miss you; be confident that you will never be forgotten.
Agree with this 100%, what an excellent piece of news. Lets hope the UK and the rest of the world can follow ASAP.
 

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That is such a sad story and the shelter really messed up. I'm happy to see this ruling because dogs are worth so much more than just the price you pay to get them. However, the party pooper in me worries about what this could potentially lead to in the long run. While many people will use this for the right reason there is great potential for people to abuse it with frivolous and/or overly high dollar amount lawsuits. Unfortunately, our judicial system isn't always the best about weeding that stuff out. Insurance costs for veterinarians are likely to go up because there will be higher amounts that have to be paid out in cases of true negligence (rightfully so) and also in dealing with the costs of the less legitimate stuff through settling or fighting it in court. Those extra costs are going to lead to higher costs for vet care overall. Don't get me wrong, I think if someone screws up they should be held accountable and I don't feel bad making them pay if they do. Sadly, like in many other things, people have a way of taking a good thing and messing it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That is such a sad story and the shelter really messed up. I'm happy to see this ruling because dogs are worth so much more than just the price you pay to get them. However, the party pooper in me worries about what this could potentially lead to in the long run. While many people will use this for the right reason there is great potential for people to abuse it with frivolous and/or overly high dollar amount lawsuits. Unfortunately, our judicial system isn't always the best about weeding that stuff out. Insurance costs for veterinarians are likely to go up because there will be higher amounts that have to be paid out in cases of true negligence (rightfully so) and also in dealing with the costs of the less legitimate stuff through settling or fighting it in court. Those extra costs are going to lead to higher costs for vet care overall. Don't get me wrong, I think if someone screws up they should be held accountable and I don't feel bad making them pay if they do. Sadly, like in many other things, people have a way of taking a good thing and messing it up.
These will be civil court cases so it shouldn't overload the criminal courts that are so overloaded. That said, of course people will abuse it, that is the way of some people.

I think it may be hard to convict a veterinarian unless gross negligence can be proved, so I don't know how much that will change. Honestly it will be nice to be able to hold veterinarians responsible for some of the things they do, but overall most veterinarians do their best for their patients.

Those are things we will just have to wait and see what happens.
 

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These will be civil court cases so it shouldn't overload the criminal courts that are so overloaded. That said, of course people will abuse it, that is the way of some people.

I think it may be hard to convict a veterinarian unless gross negligence can be proved, so I don't know how much that will change. Honestly it will be nice to be able to hold veterinarians responsible for some of the things they do, but overall most veterinarians do their best for their patients.

Those are things we will just have to wait and see what happens.
I agree totally, and I think it would in particular be benifitial to the pet foods/toy industry which are, in my opinion, not regulated enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can't help but wonder if the Staten Island familty or their lawyer knows about this case...
 

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I think overall this is a good thing. Pets are like family to most of us, and losing one is like losing a human member for the most part. When my sheltie was killed by a neighbor years ago, this would have been nice to have. Legally with the police we couldn't do anything, but maybe we could have at least gotten back some of our 900 vet bill that he caused us.
 

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I can't see how this could over burden criminal courts. Assigning "damages" is a civil thing, not a criminal one. It's about recovery, not changing the criminal code, unless I am reading it wrong
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The downside will be that vets will pay more for liability insurance and thus pass it on to their clients.
Someone else said that as well and I agreed, but now wonder if they won't just make you sign a waiver instead.

I had to sign a waiver for something at the vets. Don't remember what, just remember being surprised about it.
 

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Someone else said that as well and I agreed, but now wonder if they won't just make you sign a waiver instead.

I had to sign a waiver for something at the vets. Don't remember what, just remember being surprised about it.
Ear crop maybe? At the vet I worked for, we had a waiver for ear crops stating that we weren't responsible if the ears didn't stand. It stated a few more things that I don't remember...basically that it was a purely cosmetic elective surgery I think.
 

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Ear crop maybe? At the vet I worked for, we had a waiver for ear crops stating that we weren't responsible if the ears didn't stand. It stated a few more things that I don't remember...basically that it was a purely cosmetic elective surgery I think.
As it relates to humans.. Caveat Emptor.

If the dog DIES or is seriously injured, say due to less than sterile technique employed during surgery, how I read it the owner has a claim. If you don't "like" a boob job or a nose job or anything to that effect but there is no demonstrable harm... Good luck with that. Med Mal isn't about dissatisfaction with results of cosmetic procedures. I doubt this would EVER be interpreted that way.
 

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We had a case like this in Washington about five years ago - Roemer v. Gray. Cat owner was awarded $45,000 for the cat's special value after neighbor's chow mauled the cat to death in front of its owner ... one of my animal law professors was the lawyer representing the cat's owner.

I don't think it was appealed, though - would have been interesting to hear what an appeals court had to say. Personally, I do believe that our pets are worth more than their "economic value" and that the law should recognize that.

I mean honestly, how many of you would think it a fair price if someone came along and offered you back what you had paid for your dog? I sure wouldn't!!
 

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No, I only buy from reputable, ethical breeders and Parker's ears were done by his show breeder. I am trying not to sound snobbish, but I almost take that as an insult. I just take it as you are relatively new to the forum. That said, my first dobe was a byb girl, but she was also the last one.:) It just about had tobe when they kept him overnite for pancreatitis as that is the only time they have kept Parker. I dont remember signing one when they had to keep my old girl for an operation.
 

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We had a case like this in Washington about five years ago - Roemer v. Gray. Cat owner was awarded $45,000 for the cat's special value after neighbor's chow mauled the cat to death in front of its owner ... one of my animal law professors was the lawyer representing the cat's owner.

I don't think it was appealed, though - would have been interesting to hear what an appeals court had to say. Personally, I do believe that our pets are worth more than their "economic value" and that the law should recognize that.

I mean honestly, how many of you would think it a fair price if someone came along and offered you back what you had paid for your dog? I sure wouldn't!!
Say has torte reform affected cases like that? It has in other areas-saw "Hot coffee" not that long ago.


/stupid touchpad! can't disable the damned thing
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We had a case like this in Washington about five years ago - Roemer v. Gray. Cat owner was awarded $45,000 for the cat's special value after neighbor's chow mauled the cat to death in front of its owner ... one of my animal law professors was the lawyer representing the cat's owner.

I don't think it was appealed, though - would have been interesting to hear what an appeals court had to say. Personally, I do believe that our pets are worth more than their "economic value" and that the law should recognize that.

I mean honestly, how many of you would think it a fair price if someone came along and offered you back what you had paid for your dog? I sure wouldn't!!
I tried to post to this last nite, but my phone kept blanking out on the reply page.

Anyway, I had no idea there was another case! It is very exciting to know there have been at least two cases won, very exciting!!!

I would love to hear this guy teach and I hope he gives all the details in that landmark case. Do you know if the ruling is posted on the internet anywhere? Oh wait, I can look it up knowing the case names.

Kates, thank you very much for this new information.:)

Here is a link to a newpaper report of the judgement. Local News | Judge awards $45,480 in cat's death | Seattle Times Newspaper
 
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