14 Jun Non-economic Damages in Veterinary Medicine
We have reported in the past about a court case here in Georgia that has national implications because it left open the potential for awarding damages above and beyond the market value of a pet, also known as non-economic damages. On January 19, 2016 the Georgia Supreme Court heard this case. The GVMA contributed to an amicus brief produced by the AVMA that argued emotion-based awards would be detrimental to veterinary medicine and the health and welfare of Georgia’s pets.
Below is more information assembled by the AVMA on non-economic damages.
State & Local Non-economic Damages Issues
- Pros and cons of allowing recovery of non-economic damages (as opposed to punitive damages) for injuries to or loss of animals
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) believes the interests of animals and their owners are best protected by the current legal framework that allows for potential recovery of economic damages in negligence litigation involving animals.
- AVMA policy: Recovery of monetary damages in litigation involving animals
The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes and supports the long-standing legal classification of animals as the property of their owners. The AVMA recognizes that, in some lawsuits, economic compensation may exceed an animal’s fair market value, which is the traditional measure of damages for property, in order for the owner to be made economically whole.
AVMA legal brief
- Vermont Supreme Court (PDF)
The AVMA, along with the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, filed this brief in the case of Goodby v. Vetpharm, before the Vermont Supreme Court, advocating against allowing recovery of non-economic damages for the loss or injury of a pet.
- Resolution on animal liability and guardianship (American Legislative Exchange Council)
This resolution of the American Legislative Exchange Council, adopted in August 2005, presents a rationale for opposing reclassification of animal owners as guardians and the recovery of non-economic damages for the loss or injury of a pet.
- Non-economic damages – would it improve pet care? (Animal Health Institute)
The Animal Health Institute presents answers to key questions concerning awarding of non-economic damages and the impact on pet care.
- How emotion-based/non-economic damages can hurt you and your pet
When pet owners seek emotion-based damages, also known as non-economic damages, as compensation for pain and suffering, this sets up a domino effect of unintended and undesirable consequences that will actually hurt pets in the long run.