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I purchased a puppy from a breeder in...

Resolved • Response time 2 minutes

21 Oct 2021

I purchased a puppy from a breeder in Nebraska and the veterinarian that did the exam for the breeder documented no health issues on the puppy. I brought the puppy to my veterinarian and the puppy has a grade 4 heart murmur. It has been verified by 3 other general practice veterinarians. I contacted the breeder and she stated that she would give a partial refund, or I could return the puppy. The puppy has been with our family for 6 days now and we are in love with her and want to keep her. I am now going to have to take her to a cardiologist for further diagnostics. When I purchased the puppy I was under the assumption she was healthy and paid extra for AKC registration and breeding rights. Now I cannot breed her nor am I going to register her. Can I sue the veterinarian for malpractice?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so.
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21 Oct 2021

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Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

Hello – my name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with over ten years in private practice. My goal is to provide you with excellent service. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask!

I am sorry to hear about this.  You can sue the veterinarian for malpractice, but keep in mind that you will need an expert witness (another vet) to give an expert opinion that this vet committed malpractice and failed to meet the standard of care for the profession.

You also have a legal claim against the breeder for breach of contract.  You agreed to purchase a healthy puppy, and the breeder did not provide that.  Because you are keeping the dog, you can sue the breeder for the cost of the medical bills that you have had to incur due to this breach.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
According to the contract from the breeder, I had to have the puppy evaluated within 48 hours or purchase for any issues. I did that and that is when the murmur was noted. I then had 24 hours to get a 2nd opinion from an unrelated veterinarian and so I did and they agreed about the heart murmur. Would that be considered enough for an expert witness? I have 4 other general practice veterinarians that agree about the grade 3-4 heart murmur.
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

Not by itself - the other vets would also have to say that the heart murmur should have been detected by this vet, and that his failure to detect it was malpractice.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
Also, I paid $2820 for the puppy. I paid $500 extra for breeding rights and the breeder will only refund $2000. She wants me to sign another contract with this new purchase price.
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

If you are going to keep the dog, it may make sense to take the refund (because you may not receive a full refund in court due to keeping the dog).

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
If I take the refund can I still sue the veterinarian for malpractice and ask for medical bills to be covered or is that only the breeder/
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

If you take the refund, you can still sue the vet (as long as the release/agreement that you sign only applies to the breeder).  Also, you can negotiate with the breeder and tell them that you will sue if they do not pay more of a refund.

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
One last question and I will stop bothering you! Would I need a lawyer in Nebraska or can I get one in the state I live in?
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner

You would need a lawyer in the state where the vet is located (the claim would have to be made in that state).

21 Oct 2021
Customer reply
21 Oct 2021
ok thank you!
21 Oct 2021
Lawyer's response
21 Oct 2021
Attorney John
Attorney John

You are welcome.

Customer rating:
Attorney John
Attorney John
Trial Attorney/Owner
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21 Oct 2021
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