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Simpler and Broughton Obtain Summary Judgment in Veterinary Malpractice Case



Attorneys Miland Simpler and Richard Broughton recently obtained summary judgment in favor of their clients, a veterinarian and animal hospital, in the District Court of Calhoun County, Alabama.


Facts of the Case:

  • The plaintiff was a dog owner who brought his dog to the animal hospital to determine what was causing the dog’s various symptoms.

  • One of the animal hospital’s veterinarians performed abdominal exploratory surgery on the dog to determine if the dog was experiencing any gastrointestinal or other types of internal blockage.

  • The surgery did not reveal any causes of the dog’s symptoms.

  • In the days following the surgery, the dog’s condition continued to deteriorate to the point that the plaintiff decided to have the dog euthanized.

  • The plaintiff sued the animal hospital and the veterinarian who performed the exploratory surgery, alleging that the defendants negligently and/or wantonly violated the applicable standard of veterinary care while performing the procedure, and caused the dog’s condition to deteriorate.

  • After obtaining expert testimony and thoroughly briefing the issues, the trial court held a hearing on the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

  • After consideration of the parties’ briefs and oral argument, the trial court ruled in favor of the animal hospital and veterinarian, finding that neither defendant breached the standard of care or otherwise committed any negligence or wantonness, and dismissed the case.

Miland Simpler is an associate in the Montgomery office and practices in the areas of civil defense litigation and insurance litigation, with concentrations in auto liability, construction defect, products liability, and premises liability litigation.


Richard Broughton is a partner in the Montgomery office and has been practicing with the firm for over 35 years. Richard maintains an active practice defending medical malpractice, product liability, general liability, casualty, trucking, aviation and industrial accident cases. He also regularly defends veterinarians and other professionals in both Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) matters and civil lawsuits.