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Animal Law

Angry Over the Death of a Beloved Pet, More Owners Sue the Animal’s Vet

Posted Nov 4, 2011 6:04 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Because animals are considered property, there is often little to be gained financially from suing over the death of a beloved pet.

But a growing number of owners are doing so anyway, seeking to hold veterinarians accountable when they feel substandard care has shortened an animal's life or caused unnecessary suffering, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

"A lot of them are very emotional but when I talk to them, I find the vet didn't do anything wrong," said Marcy LaHart, a Gainesville, Fla., attorney who brings such cases on behalf of owners. "They are looking for someone to blame."

Among those who have sued successfully is developer Victor Labruzzo of Miami Beach. A lawyer by training, he won $5,350 earlier this year from the Animal Eye Specialty Clinic after two years of litigation. The case alleged their vet committed malpractice by operating on their elderly dog, Sax for cataracts when there were signs that the 17-year-old minature pinscher had kidney problems.

The clinic was represented by Stephen Lampasso. He declined the newspaper's request for comment.

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