If aveterinary hospital did surgery on my dog without my consent, do I have to pay?

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If aveterinary hospital did surgery on my dog without my consent, do I have to pay?

A veterinary hospital resident did surgery on my dog that cost over $4000 without my permission. She was 14 years-old andstill had to be put to sleep. She suffered in pain for a month after having spinal surgery. I was out several hundred dollars for continued veterinary care afterwards. We had intended to have her put to sleep if her spine was damaged. After doing a CT scan the veterinarian told me that she would call me back that evening and let me know the results. Instead she called back a few hours later and informed me on my answering machine that my dog was going into surgery. Do I have to pay?

Asked on October 30, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, I would not pay the bill.  They will take you to small claims court I am sure. Did you sign any paperwork when you went in that they could say was a consent to do the surgery?  That may be the hitch in the matter.  But if you have witnesses to the conversation then that, coupled with the reasoning that the dog's age would be a deterrent to anyone spending that much money and putting the dog through such unnecessary pain - I think that a reasonable Judge would find for you and not for the veterinarian. No one can tell you for sure what the outcome will be here.  They can only tell you their best guesstimate.  Let an attorney in the area review the paperwork you signed as well to be sure that there are no additional impediments.  Good luck.


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