June 7, 2010

Oregon Veterinarian Sues Banfield Pet Hospital for Alleged Unethical Medical and Business Practices

According to its website, Banfield “has become the largest pet general veterinary practice in the world, with more than 750 hospitals in neighborhoods across the U.S.” In a recently filed lawsuit, however, Dr. Robert Nix alleges that the company’s veterinary and business practices endangered animal patients and charged owners excessive fees for substandard care.

In a complaint filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Dr. Nix describes being told to help boost income by accepting animals in need of urgent care after hours at Banfield’s Nyberg Woods clinic in Tualatin. He asserts that the company planned to “take patients regardless of their needs and collect revenue from lab work and initial triage treatment. If a patient’s case was very serious, doctors would then call the [animal owner] after conducting some costly tests and ask them to take their pet to Tualatin Emergency Clinic.” Dr. Nix asserts that Banfield was ‘promising a service they knew they could not deliver and forcing pet owners to pay two veterinarians to treat their sick animal instead of one, while the sick or injured animal bore the risk of delay in medical treatment.”

The complaint further accuses the company of firing him for challenging veterinary care that he asserts fell seriously below professional standards and Oregon practice standards. Banfield reportedly denies the allegations contained in the 28-page complaint filed by Dr. Nix, the former chief of staff at Nyberg Woods. He claims that the discharge was wrongful because it was in retaliation for whistleblowing.

If you believe that your companion animal may have been harmed by an unprofessional veterinarian or veterinary technician, our Oregon animal law office may be able to help. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Related Web Resources
Edie Lau, Veterinarian Fired from Banfield Sues Company, Veterinary Info. Network, Inc., June 1, 2010.

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