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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

British Owner Sues Veterinarians Over Laminitis and Wins $600K Damages

July 26—According to a report just received via the BBC, a British owner has been awarded more than $600,000 in damages because of a veterinarian’s failure to warn her that steroid injections could cause laminitis,

The case involves the high-profile dressage mare Annastasia, who was the national dressage champion of France in 2000 but was British-owned. The owner insisted that her own British vet be involved in care decisions, while the horse was under the care of the French team veterinarian.

Ultimately, both British and French veterinarians were named in the suit.

In 1999 and again in August 2001, the horse received corticosteroid injections and, on the second instance, developed laminitis and was destroyed due to the severity of the laminitis. The assumption is that the steroids directly led to the sudden and severe laminitis attack.

The judge agreed that the owner might have refused the treatment if she had been told of the risks. He placed 85 percent of the liability on the French veterinarian, with 15% on the British veterinarian.

(Please note that the value of the judgement was 350,000 GBP, which has an equivalent value of about $600,000USD.)

For more on this developing story, please return to and the HoofBlog for updates and also visit

BBC NEWS: Horse owner wins £350,000 damages

THE TELEGRAPH: Vets fined £350,000 after champion horse dies

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