For some Florida residents, the family pet is an actual member of the family. In a somewhat unique case, a Bay Area sued a vet clinic for medical malpractice when her beloved dog died while under the clinic's care. The jury deliberated for almost ten hours after hearing the case but came away deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial.The woman was suing for damages for pain and suffering. The medical malpractice case is important in that its final outcome may play a part in how the Florida legal system will view future cases regarding a pet's death. Under Florida law, pets are considered property. That means a pet owner is entitled to fair value of the pet, but not for damages such as pain and suffering.
In writing about medical malpractice, in previous blog posts we noted the high incidence of safety issues for Florida hospital patients. Sadly, the problem is not limited to Florida. Indeed, all over the world there are concerns about medical standards of care in hospitals, ranging from failure to appropriately supervise a patient and medication errors to birth injuries and surgical mistakes. It seems that almost daily we read of another incident involving malpractice in our medical institutions.