Vt. High Court Says Pets Not Family In Eyes Of Law

Law360, New York (May 12, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The state's Wrongful Death Act can't be extended to pets and entitle their owners to noneconomic damages for a veterinarian's or drug company's negligence, Vermont's high court has affirmed, ruling the law applies only to close family members.

On Friday, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's decision dismissing two cat owners' emotional distress claims against their veterinarians and against animal drug distributor Vet Pharm Inc.

The high court stressed that the Wrongful Death Act applies only to next of kin, and that the plaintiffs...
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