Good grief, have we run completely out of good reasons to bribe legislators? Now they’re trying to cook up a malpractice insurance crisis for veterinarians!
According to this article in the Washington Post, the pet medicine manufacturers have hired a lobbyist to work the state and federal legislatures on behalf of the Animal Health Institute on animal health liability legislation. An excerpt from the article:
Pet owners and other animal owners can currently sue for economic damages — such as the cost of medical care, training or replacing the animal. The institute and veterinarians worry that if Congress, state legislatures or the courts expand that to cover loss of companionship or pain and suffering, the result could be “an insurance crisis” for veterinarians or the companies, Schwartz said.
“If soft or non-economic compensatory damages were allowed, costs of vets would zoom, and many animals would not get the care they need or would be put to sleep when not absolutely necessary,” Schwartz said.
There is no legislation pending, and Schwartz said he is discussing the issue with some lawmakers “very initially.” It will be up to the institute to decide next year whether to seek legislation that would restrict non-economic damages, he said.