Can I sue to get my money from a second surgery that needed to be performed on my dog due to problems with the first?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue to get my money from a second surgery that needed to be performed on my dog due to problems with the first?

My dog had surgery to remove a mass after 3 months she has another small mass, which were stutures that didn’t dissolve as I was told they would.said. I had to pay for another surgery/tests/meds and now her leg is badly

swollen. They removed a few staples from the incision and said nothing about the leg except for ointment and ice.

Can I sue for the cost of the surgery and related expenses?

Asked on April 3, 2016 under Business Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may have claims for negligence against both the vet and the manufacturer of the sutures.
The manufacturer of the sutures has a duty to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.  This would be the basis of  your negligence claim.  
You would also have a claim for strict liability against the manufacturer of the sutures.  Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims in your lawsuit).
Your claim against the vet would be negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable vet would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the vet and manufacturer, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for both the vet and manufacturer of the sutures.
If the case is settled with both insurance carriers, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit.
If the case is settled with one but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case did not settle as a defendant in your lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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