Why Veterinary Malpractice Is An Illusion

Why Veterinary Malpractice Is An Illusion

Until the mid-part of the last century, the term “malpractice” didn’t even apply to veterinarians (and still may not in some states where this profession isn’t listed under the malpractice statute).  Recently, however, veterinarians have become subject to state malpractice actions.

Despite this trend, veterinarian malpractice lawsuits still aren’t that common because the measure of damages for the loss of a pet in most states is the market value of the pet. In other words, what someone else would pay for an identical pet of the same age, breed and condition.

In nearly all cases, lawyer’s fees would be more than pet owners would be able to recover in court. Also, pet owners have to prove the same things you would have proven in a medical malpractice case, which isn’t always easy or inexpensive.  A few states allow monetary damages for emotional distress and loss of companionship. However, awards for an owner’s mental suffering are the exception rather than the rule.

So it seems the veterinary colleges can continue to allow the vaccine manufacturers to teach their students about immunology, the vets can continue to deliver unnecessary and dangerous vaccines to our animals without full disclosure of their risks, the veterinary associations will continue to make vague statements regarding vaccine duration of immunity and refuse to monitor the activities of their members, and our pets will continue to suffer because nobody cares enough to do anything about it.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  I care.  I care a lot.  And because you’re reading this article, I know that you care too.