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Has anyone sued a vet?

Does anyone have any experience suing a vet due to their pup dying after a general procedure?

or know anyone who has?  whether successful or not... or take them to small claims court at least?

Not too much helpful information out there on the internet nor free consultation...
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134578 tn?1716963197
I'm sorry about the loss of your beloved dog.

Presumably vets carry malpractice insurance, meaning they know that sometime they might be sued. But the problem would be proving that the vet did something negligently, and that was the cause of the death. If the vet adhered to the usual standards for anesthesia and performed the procedure as it is always done, it's not malpractice even if the animal had a sad outcome. I've known a couple of people who lost their pets due to them being anesthetized, but they had no way to know in advance that it might happen from the standard methods. And one had a cat die after neutering, but it was because the area got infected after he came home. If your case is totally clearcut and you have witnesses that say the vet made medical errors, you might have a chance. But then there are also legal fees, and the possibility of having to pay the vet's legal costs if you don't win the case.
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I feel like if I was even given a warning that there is a 1% chance of the possibility of death I would have skipped the procedure.  Shouldn't I have been warned at least?  
I guess it would depend. Usually if the animal is going to be given anesthesia, you have to sign some kind of permission form. But the rarer the likelihood of a complication, the less likely you are to have to sign off on a procedure on that basis. If the risk is really slim and the procedure is routine and the dog needed it and no dog has ever died from it at this vet's, maybe the idea wouldn't have come up.

I understand you being angry and of course sad, but it doesn't sound like a lawsuit would do what you want. You might instead post a brief and straightforward account of what happened on Yelp or other review site, and also, you could talk to the veterinary licensing board and explain what happened and see if they tell you it was a wrongful death. They will probably investigate, and both that and your review will get the vet's attention at the very least. Be plain when telling the story, just explain the facts, don't let the tone be vindictive. If you did sign a permission form, don't accidentally neglect to mention it, especially to the veterinary licensing board. (Though it's OK to tell them you never in a million years expected there was a risk the dog would die and are very distressed about it.) You might get where you want to be just from these actions, and they don't cost the money that you might just lose, like if you hired a lawyer.
really appreciate your feedback.  have you studied law by any chance or are you a vet?
No on being a vet, yes on studied law.

There's a tendency for people to feel like they will be made whole emotionally if they sue, yet it's hard to prevail in this kind of lawsuit, and even winning it wouldn't bring back your beloved pet anyway. So if what you're really after is getting back at the vet for breaking your heart, the ways I was suggesting are probably more useful.
what are your thoughts on small claims court?  the procedure itself was only a 1000 which wouldn't be worth the effort, but if i went for additional 3000 to purchase another dog (whether i do or not)?  I just feel like some justice needs to be done for my dog...
There's nothing to prevent you from trying.
Well, except if you signed a release when your dog was going in for the procedure. I looked at the release my vet has me sign any time my pets go under anesthesia, and it not only says there is a slim chance of a serious consequence (and the release had me say the vet could do what was necessary to try to save the animal in that case even if it cost more money), but there was also a second paragraph that says the owner holds the vet harmless in case of a problem. Now, if you went to court and they produced a document like that (that you signed when you brought your pet in), you could say to the judge that you didn't know what was in it, and also (especially) it was clear they wouldn't do the veterinary work if you didn't sign it. There are some contracts that can be nullified if the person basically didn't have a choice if they wanted the work to be done. But it could be complicated and you'd probably need a lawyer to make those arguments.
Thanks so much again! I just read this but I have requested a copy of the release form 2 days ago and am still waiting for it...  planning on reaching back out tomorrow if I don't receive it by then...
It's possibly available online at the vet's website. All the standard forms for becoming a patient are available that way at a lot of medical places (dentist, doctor and vet) because then people can fill them out in advance of coming to the first appointment.

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