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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
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Can I "sue" not my veterinarian but the maker of this 3-in-1

Customer Question

Can I "sue" not my veterinarian but the maker of this 3-in-1 medicine for which gave my cat this cancerous tumor?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing law for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you.

You can certainly sue a negligent party if they damaged your pet. However, it is very difficult and expensive to proof, in court (or out of court), that the meds did cause the damage and that it was given in negligence to your pet - it is expensive because only an expert in that area of science can testify as that connection. We lay people can not testify to something we are not experts in with appropriate credentials. This is similar to medical malpractice, where negligence by, say, a doctor causes us damage. Because the expert doctor will charge many thousands of dollars for a report of his opinion on causation, etc. and negligence, (and his testimony in court at trial) often times the expense for this mandatory evidence outweighs what a jury will award in damages, assuming they believe our expert over the defense's expert. In a nutshell, many damages cases do not receive justice because the costs of proving the case legally, however righteous, are inhibitive and not all people can afford to fight a wrong on principle, if the monetary value of the damages, as determined by the jury, are not high. Unfair, but a reality, unfortunately.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



Customer: replied 12 months ago.


Yes, I know what you're saying but with ALL the evidence about this "wrong doing stuff" on the Internet, you'd think it was an open & shut case wouldn't you? This 3-in-1 medicine is lethally wrong and I'd bet my ass that all the


vetinerary doctors have stoppped giving this by now.

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Unfortunately, nothing on the internet is admissible. It is one of the Rules of Evidence in U.S. courts that hearsay (out of court statements, be they written or verbal) are inadmissible, barring any express exception within the Rules. The reasons vary, but of particular import is that both sides have the right to cross examine the witnesses of the opposition. An internet article can not be cross examined. The author would need to testify. So open and shut cases only really exist if the evidence that is so obvious, is actually allowed to be admitted into court, and is available and ready to pop into court. However, if you want to make a demand and not sue, but try to settle prior to any filing of a complaint, you can certainly do that! If the defendent believes that you are ready to sue, he may just become willing to settle in a manner you can live with - BEFORE he has to hire a defense attorney or before a retained attorney will have cause to bill tons of hours for litigation defense.

Keep in mind also, you may be able to get involved in a class action suit - so consider researching if this product is the subject of a class action suit you can join. That is the way you DON'T have to outlay any money for the experts.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Alright, you stated that "an Internet" article cannot be cross examined. How about the "hundreds" of Internet articles about the same cancerous mixture
which causes cancer in cats? Somebody's gotta listen here wouldn't you


think? Hundreds of people just don't make up something to pass the time of day about the same thing! And according to some articles, this medicine IS


being investigated as we speak.


 


I have all the papers on my cats shots on hand but what I don't have is who


the maker of this inferior product is. Is is Phiser? Or if not, I'm sure I can find it on the Internet.


 


Any more comments?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Look Alexia, I know this is only an $18 answer and you being a lawyer and all, gotta have better things to attend to than answer some fool guys question about of all things, a cat but if you did some homework on the Inet about this matter, you'd see what all theis fuss is about.


 


I'm a square shooter, never, never, never did I ever try to gain monies for


myself for something let alone as different as this case is. I guess if it was a human that got all butchered up and got cancer from an inferior medicine then it would get peoples attention. I'm just trying to make a difference here for everybod'y pet in the future and I'm just lookin for a little help in a way to do this and punish these in-humane fools.


 


But thanks for your help


 


Gary


 

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi Gary,

 

Look Alexia, I know this is only an $18 answer and you being a lawyer and all, gotta have better things to attend to than answer some fool guys question about of all things, Not foolish at all... but not to worry, I spend a good chunk of my week or month either pro bono, volunteering, and this is as worthy as any other.

 

a cat but if you did some homework on the Inet about this matter, you'd see what all theis fuss is about. But that fuss in no way effects your legal matter, unfortunately. It is those bloody rules of civil procedure that have to be adhered to. One can have all the right facts on his side, but if he can't get it before court, the case has zero chance of winning. You see?

 

 

 

I'm a square shooter, never, never, never did I ever try to gain monies for

 

myself for something let alone as different as this case is. I understand. And I am a cat lover.

 

I guess if it was a human that got all butchered up and got cancer from an inferior medicine then it would get peoples attention. You didn't mention the drug you are talking about, incidentally, but YES, you are right. When it is human, we then have issues of assault, possible reckless endangerment, personal bodily injury claims, etc. The State can get involved in many ways, including criminal prosecution. But, a pet is typically, legally, considered 'property', so the damages are more limited and short of purposely hurting the animal, rarely do we see criminal prosecution.

 

I'm just trying to make a difference here for everybod'y pet in the future and I'm just lookin for a little help in a way to do this and punish these in-humane fools. Then a class action is probably the most affordable way for you to do so if you are not wealthy and if significiant personal financial compensation is not the main motive. Class actions get notoriety and can help geta product pulled from the shelves if not totally boycotted by consumers in general. You see what I am saying?

 

 

 

 

Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11708
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
Alexia Esq. and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Yeh sure, you mentioned Class Action Suit where their's no money involved for them to have to come up with just maybe take this item off the shelf? They'd just develope another.



Sorry, that won't do. I want these assholes to pay through the ass for what they did.


 


You also mentioned the courts would look at my animal as "property"?


OK, property that was taken away from me. So what about that? Huh?


 


I'm 62, never married, no kids just this little precious cutie and if you could look into her eyes the way she looks back at you, she really doesn't


know her days are limited but when I take her to eventually get put down


she's gonna want to know why? Do I tell her uh, sorry cutie but that's the way it's gotta because some asshole took you from me and that's the way it is.


 


And at least in my state (NY), it's now a felony to hurt or harm or kill an


animal.


 


NO, if I gotta sue my vet instead of Phiser or whoever created this shit,


then that's what it's gotta be. I'm so pissed off about the legalities of what can and cannot be done and in the mean time, whoever's using and or creating this stuff is laughing all the way to the bank.

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Yeh sure, you mentioned Class Action Suit where their's no money involved for them to have to come up with Uh, no, I said no such thing :) I said YOU wouldn't have to come up with money to pursue that. They, if liable, end up paying HUGE moneys, far huger than what they'd pay if you alone filed suit.

 

just maybe take this item off the shelf? That would be likely on top of the major moneys. Why don't you go ahead and research famous class action suits :)

 

They'd just develope another. Medicine will likely ALWAYS be developed. But they may (depending on the ethics of the PEOPLE) be into more testing before they do.



Sorry, that won't do. I want these assholes to pay through the ass for what they did. Good, then read above, again, so you are clear on what I have said, OK?



You also mentioned the courts would look at my animal as "property"? Read here. (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/dog-book/chapter9-6.html) State's vary on the "sentimental value" to an owner on this "property." Usually it will involve when you lost the pet.


OK, property that was taken away from me. So what about that? Huh? This is what I stated above. The fair market value of property is what we can recoup in terms of property, always. When we lose our pet, what is the FMV? As you can imagine, not much. One of my very part time volunteerism efforts is helping a shelter near me (all cat shelter) get homes for shelter cats. We can't GIVE cats away. In fact I once chose to pay a shelter to house 3 cats that would otherwise have gone to a kill shelter - $200/cat. And, because the owner of that shelter didn't want to take the money (the owner as an elderly lady who'd lost all after losing her job, lost her home, and was not permitted to bring all her pets to her new home) - but we successfully insisted - I also made that shelter my "pet" shelter and I have them in my list of monthly bills, where I donate each month. Not a lot, things are tight around here as they are for everyone - but a little bit each month, I figure it will pay for a few of the cats to be fed each month. But anyway, FMV is TERRIBLE for pets.


I'm 62, never married, no kids just this little precious cutie and if you could look into her eyes the way she looks back at you, she really doesn't


know her days are limited but when I take her to eventually get put down


she's gonna want to know why? No she won't. She will not have a clue her time is near. YOU want to know why, YOU are heartbroken - she won't know. You will be petting her and snuggline her as she goes to sleep... It is TERRIBLE what has happened to her. And if you want whatever justice is available, consider that suit.

 

Do I tell her uh, sorry cutie but that's the way it's gotta because some asshole took you from me and that's the way it is. What you choose to tell your cat is up to you.



And at least in my state (NY), it's now a felony to hurt or harm or kill an


animal. That would only be intentional hurting. Not negligent. But now that you have shared your state, the big case in NY is
Johnson v. Douglas (New York) March 12, 2001. An automobile driver moved to dismiss claims of pet owners for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and punitive damages from witnessing the death of their dog. The Supreme Court, Nassau County, Zelda Jonas, J., held that pet owners could not recover for emotional distress based upon an alleged negligent or malicious destruction of a dog, which was deemed to be personal property. This followed Jason v. Parks (New York), February 13, 1996. This was a veterinary malpractice case in which the plaintiff sought damages for emotional distress. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Department, held that it "is well established that a pet owner in New York cannot recover damages for emotional distress caused by the negligent destruction of a dog." http://www.animallaw.info/cases/causny734nys2d847.htm


So you see, you NY voters will have to push your State Reps in the legislature to ALLOW for emotional pain and suffering to a pet owner for the pets injury when it is the result of negligence. You need to use your voting power to change your state's law.



So you need to have evidence



NO, if I gotta sue my vet instead of Phiser or whoever created this shit, Unfortunately, you'd have to prove intent to hurt, rather than negligence.


then that's what it's gotta be. When you talk to your lawyer discuss whether BOTH will be involved. If the vet had no real reason to believe the med was going to hurt (as opposed to help) then in theory, he is no more guilty than you are (you thought it would help not hurt). But, if the manufacturer cut corners on testing, etc., or hid studies indicating this expensive med could have terrible side effect, so that it could go forward with putting it out on shelves after spending milllions in research (i.e. they didn't want those millions to NOT be recouped in sales) - then THIS would be your liable party.

 

I'm so pissed off about the legalities of what can and cannot be done Do you really think a vet who has been prescribing what the experts have developed to help animals, should be guilty of something when he only followed the directions, after YOU brought your dog to him? I'm not seeing a basis unless you have left out something?

 

and in the mean time, whoever's using and or creating this stuff is laughing all the way to the bank. Then, again, (repeat), why are you resisting pursuing a class action suit? If I felt strongly like you do about something that happened to my pet (which fortunately our pets are fine), I'd get involved. here http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=15414

 

Here is a recent suit on a medication: http://www.srdogs.com/Pages/rimadyl.rec.html

 

And:

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/08/pfizer_lawsuit_rimadyl_killed_dog.php

 

I'd contact these law firms, who are already experienced in these suits. You don't have to give up, but you need to take action to pursue with the understanding that the burden is on the plaintiff to develop a legal evidentiary case, not on the defendent to disprove. With a class action, the cost of the expert testimony is spread out over MANY plaintiffs, one plaintiff is not having to come up with $20k to pay an expert for his help. Rather 20,000 plaintiffs (or some high number) share the cost, and usually, it is settled so that the defendent PAYS the costs of Z for "costs", then pays XX to be split among plaintiffs AND YYY to be paid for the attorneys fees of the plaintiff.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

 


I'm so pissed off about the legalities of what can and cannot be done Do you really think a vet who has been prescribing what the experts have developed to help animals, should be guilty of something when he only followed the directions, after YOU brought your dog to him? I'm not seeing a basis unless you have left out something?
**************************************************************************************


 


Well, I can only say that no, my vet did not intentionally mean to cause harm BUT, he, being a vet should have known or at least


read up about this cancerous developement in this 3-in-1 vaccine


or, and also, it probably cost him one third of the price to probably purchase this medication therefore saving him money.


He's supposed to be a doctor of animal medicine and should have at least known about what effects this could cause.


 


Anyway, thanks for all your help but in closing all I can says is


even though an animal doesn't really know what's about to happen, I've had to put down 7 in my lifetime due to old age and


if you could only see the look in their eyes, as God is my witness, they know what's about to happen. They've lived with you for years, they know your ways, your every move and if you feel


distraught, they can sense something's wrong. I never, ever thought a medicine for the good of an animal would ever leave me in this position.

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Good morning. I know it is frustrating...

Well, I can only say that no, my vet did not intentionally mean to cause harm BUT, he, being a vet should have known or at least


read up about this cancerous developement in this 3-in-1 vaccine... I am not a cancer researcher, and do not know what drug you are talking about. I have heard of some that cause, rarely, (like 16/million), ill-effects of a very grave nature. That also happens to be true of human drugs, as I have yet to find one that is not capable of hurting a small part of the population - it seems we either take the risk and hope we are not that 1 in a million, or we choose our to live without treatment for whatever issue we have. The inserts on my pets medications/flea/tick treatment, have the warnings - and the stats are in our favor big time so I choose to take the risk. HOWEVER, a manufacturer has been known to LIE about the stats, which would be a problem for me - because if the risk were greater than they have shared, I'd have to re-evaluate IF I was willing to take the risk. You know what I mean?


or, and also, it probably cost him one third of the price to probably purchase this medication therefore saving him money. Sure, anything is possible. Except, since he is passing off the price to you, the consumer, anyway, I can't really see what he has to gain by picking the cheaper one.


He's supposed to be a doctor of animal medicine and should have at least known about what effects this could cause. Do you have reason to believe he did not know of the risks that were on the insert? Did you ask him about them after you read them? I agree, he should be well-read on the known risks, as should we all before we consent to treatment.


 


Anyway, thanks for all your help but in closing all I can says is


even though an animal doesn't really know what's about to happen, I've had to put down 7 in my lifetime due to old age and


if you could only see the look in their eyes, as God is my witness, they know what's about to happen. I have had to do the same for my share as well. Family members. Dog and cat. I have 3 older dogs right now, and it won't be fun when the time comes to do right by them.

 

They've lived with you for years, they know your ways, your every move and if you feel


distraught, they can sense something's wrong. Absolutely.

 

I never, ever thought a medicine for the good of an animal would ever leave me in this position. So sorry you were unaware of the risks. It is always a tough decision even when we DO make sure to read up before we choose the risk of giving it to our pet. I have a mid size sweet dog who has growing arthritis in his hips. I have been giving him baby aspirin, cautiously, but soon it will not be enough. I am in the process of trying to determine what to use next, but have not find anything verifiably effective for the pain and mobility that does NOT come with advertised risks. So I suspect I will have to take the risk for him, because the alternative is forcing him to live in pain and lose his quality of life, in which case, I'd have to then put him down if I am going to live up to my caring parent standard. So, I will risk it, and hope he is not in the small % that has problems with the meds. I do already use a flea/tick preventer, and do far that has not harmed him, as far as I can see. Of course, longer term effects, one may not know for a while.

 

I do feel your pain, Gary. Please do not take offense that all I can do is apprise you of the legal elements generally needed to find someone liable. I am not saying your Vet isn't liable - but you will have to show where he was negligent. A bad end result does not necessarily mean someone was negligent. For instance, perhaps he never DID seek your consent for XX drug, but just gave it to him. Unless you provided consent, it COULD be a wrong - if you did provide consent, then less likely. Also, if the drug is still considered legal and appropriate for Rx'ing, then it may also be tough to prove that a vet should know better than the maker OR the law the is supposed to oversee such meds. This is particularly so if he has not experienced many side effects over the years of prescribing it.

 

Hang in there - I know it isn't easy. My skin has grown thicker over the years, knowing that the risk is, in the end, on us, and that the onus is on us to prove the wrong of others - kind of like "innocent until proven guilty."


Customer: replied 11 months ago.

All I can say is that no, before my vet injected my cat with this 3-in-1 medicine (rabbies, feline lukemia and distemper), he DID NOT mention to me that this could cause cancer in some animals. If he did, I would have chosen the individual shots instead. Wheather or not he knew about this,
I do not know and it probably would be hard to prove if he did or not.

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 11 months ago.
I know what you mean. I'd look towards a class action, and consider that course. I'm so sorry for your kitty's troubles and will keep my fingers crossed for recovery.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Alright, 1 more thing. Before I cunsult with a lawyer, what do I need to know or do about a class action lawsuit?

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Nothing. The lawyer will handle it. It is far more complex than a regular court case because there must be steps he takes to get the right to file a class action. However, to head in that direction, perhaps read up on some CA basics here:

http://www.topclassactions.com/complaint-form

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