Justia Animal / Dog Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics
Berry v. Frazier
Berry sued Frazier, a veterinarian, for nominal and punitive damages based on the circumstances surrounding the euthanasia of her cat. Her complaint alleged that Berry secured Frazier’s services to perform humane euthanasia on her cat. Instead, and without Berry’s informed consent, Frazier performed the euthanasia by means of an unnecessary and unjustified intracardiac injection, resulting in a horrific and painful death for her cat and great emotional distress to Berry. The trial court dismissed, without leave to amend, claims for fraud/deceit/intentional misrepresentation, conversion/trespass to chattels, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of Civil Code section 3340, which allows for an award of exemplary damages for wrongful injuries to animals committed willfully or with gross negligence in disregard of humanity. Berry voluntarily dismissed the sole remaining claim.The court of appeal reversed; the complaint contained sufficient allegations to withstand demurrer to the causes of action for fraud/deceit/intentional misrepresentation, conversion/trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Berru should be allowed to allege a request for section 3340 exemplary damages in connection with other pleaded causes of action. View "Berry v. Frazier" on Justia Law
Vickers v. Idaho Bd of Veterinary Medicine
Kirby Vickers filed a grievance letter with Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine (the Board”) against a veterinarian requesting that they take various disciplinary actions. After an investigation, the Board declined to take any action against the veterinarian. Vickers then filed suit in district court, seeking to compel the Board to hold a hearing. The district court dismissed his suit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. On appeal, Vickers argued his letter to the Board initiated a contested action for which he was entitled to judicial review. To this, the Idaho Supreme Court disagreed, finding that a private citizen could not initiate a "contested case" with a grievance letter. Vickers points to the language in caselaw: “[t]he filing of a complaint initiates a contested case,”to argue that any public citizen could file a complaint pursuant to Idaho Rule of Administrative Procedure of the Attorney General (“IDAPA”) 04.11.01.240.02 and begin a contested case. However, the Supreme Court found both the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the corresponding IDAPA rules, addressed only agency actions. "Vickers cannot apply these rules to his grievance letter, even if it was referred to as a “complaint” in correspondence from the Board, because it is not an agency action under the APA or IDAPA." The Court affirmed the district court's order dismissed this case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. View "Vickers v. Idaho Bd of Veterinary Medicine" on Justia Law
State ex rel. Sizemore v. Veterinary Med. Licensing Bd.
In this case the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying the request by Appellant, Terrie Sizemore, a veterinarian, for a writ of mandamus to compel Appellee, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board, to reissue a 2007 adjudication order finding her guilty of misconduct and imposing fines. Sizemore contended that the original order was not in compliance with Ohio Rev. Code 119.09, preventing her from pursuing an appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) because the Board dismissed the charges against Sizemore, the mandamus claim was moot; (2) the Board have any duty to reissue its prior adjudication order finding Sizemore guilty of misconduct; and (3) Sizemore had an adequate remedy by way of a motion for contempt to raise her claim that the board violated the court of appeals mandate to reissue its adjudication order. View "State ex rel. Sizemore v. Veterinary Med. Licensing Bd." on Justia Law