February 18, 2012

TX Woman Sues Veterinarian After VAS Cat Dies

A Texas woman is suing her veterinarian for professional negligence, malpractice and negligent misrepresentation after the death of her companion cat from vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS), an extremely aggressive cancer that claims the lives of more than one in every 10,000 million cats vaccinated every year. Jena Gonzalez of Corpus Christi is aided by Dr. Bob Rogers, a Texas veterinarian long at the forefront of vaccination reforms. They are seeking contributions to pay attorney's fees in a case that could have far-reaching impact.

 According the the lawsuit, the veterinarian administered two unnecessary vaccines to her adult cat, at intervals of two years - an adjuvanted PLPRhCv vaccination and an adjuvanted FeLV vaccine. In addition, the veterinarian failed to advise Ms. Gonzalez that the booster shots were unnecessary and could cause injection-site cancer.

When the cat, named Kitty Kat, subsequently developed vaccine-associated sarcoma,  Jena spent $8,000 for surgery and chemotherapy. Kitty Kat died on February 14, 2011.

Jena's lawsuit seeks to recover medical costs plus sentimental value for her beloved companion. It alleges that the adjuvanted vaccine caused the VAS, that the vaccines were unnecessary and that she would not have agreed to their administration if asked for informed consent.

Lawsuits against veterinarians for the death of family pets after administering vaccines are extremely rare. Judgments are rarer still. However, a judgment in this case could have far-reaching effects.

According to Dr. Rogers, a judgment in this case could move malpractice insurance companies to advise veterinarians to stop using adjuvanted vaccine, get informed consent from pet owners before administering vaccines and stop recommending unnecessary vaccines. A judgment can also wake up State Veterinary Boards to the way veterinarians currently violate consumer protection laws.

Dr. Bob Rogers is serving as an expert witness in this case at no charge. In addition to his time, he has contributed $5000 toward the case and is seeking another $5000 in public contributions to underwrite the attorney's fees which are estimated at $10,000. Legal fees cannot be recovered in this kind of lawsuit.

Any money collected over the $5,000 goal will be used to obtain a Writ of Mandamus, i.e. to have a Judge explain to the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that giving unnecessary vaccines is against the law, negligent misrepresentation. All 50 State Veterinary Medical Examiners Boards will be duly advised.

Donations are tax deductible and can be made to the NPO C.A.R.E.S. ,(Critter Advocacy Responsibility Ethics Science)( www.critteradvocacy.org located at 5703 Louetta Rd. Spring, Texas 77379.


Anonymous said...

Aren't vets already required to provide informed consent prior to administering any medication/vaccine? Re malpractice rates for vets, as Christopher Green has proven in his 2004 law review paper http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus10animall163.htm vets pay a pittance for malpractice insurance (in fact, it has actually decreased) while our outdated laws in the U.S. literally allow vets to get away with murder. They can kill our pets and get little more than a slap on the hand, if even that.

Pamela Picard said...

There is no law requiring informed consent before administering drugs to family pets. See our post http://www.aimeeslaw.com/2010/03/veterinary-vaccine-disclosure-there.html