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Appellate Court Update for April 2023

Animal law

In this case, the plaintiff sued a veterinarian for botching the euthanasia of her cat, alleging fraud, deceit, conversion, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The trial court upheld the veterinarian’s demurrer without giving the plaintiff an opportunity to amend her complaint. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that California law allows for an award of exemplary or punitive damages for wrongful injuries to an animal committed willfully or by gross negligence in disregard of humanity. (Civil Code §3340.) Plaintiff had stated a cause of action under Civil Code §3340.

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