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Re: [RC] Sued Vet - Diane Trefethen

Since it appears that the insurance company approach to all lawsuits is "cover ass - the hell with the reputation of the person sued", then I would think that AERC needs to have in place some sort of very punitive policy, if not rule. Back in May, Truman posted on the AERC forum:
For that [AERC's] sanctioning they [ride managers] have to
agree to run the ride in a certain manner and in return the AERC allows
it's members to get points, miles, etc., from that ride. Ride vets are
contractors of the ride managers...

   The AREC really has no "official dog" in whatever fight happens between
   rider and RM, rider and vet or RM and vet.

Losing a lawsuit as a consequence of vetting at one of our rides and doing it right is a permanent black mark on a vet's record. Even if AERC has no chain-of-command involvement in such a lawsuit, it should have a firm procedure for dealing with riders who sue. Our vets are too important to throw to the wolves.

1) Neither Vet nor Rider should be presumed responsible for the death of a horse.
2) Any time a ride vet is sued, the P&G committee should be charged with the responsibility of investigating the circumstances, PRIOR TO THE LAWSUIT EITHER GOING TO COURT OR BEING SETTLED. The results of this investigation should be made available to the Rider, the Vet, the Vet's insurance company and possibly the Court as an Amicus Curiae brief.
3) Since it is the Vet who has been sued, the focus of P&G should be on the culpability of said Vet. They should be required to render one of four decisions: a) The Vet failed to adequately inform the Rider of the seriousness of the Horse's condition, b) The Vet adequately informed the Rider of the Horse's condition but the Rider chose to ignore the advice of the Vet, c) The Vet properly treated the Horse at the ride, or d) The Vet's treatment of the Horse at the ride was inadequate.
4) If P&G's result is either (b) or (c) above, the Rider should be immediately informed that if he pursues legal action against the Vet and prevails, the Rider will be permanently banned from riding in any AERC sanctioned event.

There can be other stipulations, protections against truly bizarre or unforeseeable circumstances, but the guts of the procedure should be that if you sue a ride vet, who has properly performed his duty, and win, either by court decision or by default, you will not be able to ride in another AERC event, ever.

Again, our vets are too important to abandon when they are threatened for doing their jobs at our rides. If a vet fails to act properly or is indifferent to a horse's condition and is sued, then that vet should be held accountable in a court of law. But if a vet acts in accordance with a horse's welfare and the rider's actions cause or contribute substantially to that horse's death, then the RIDER should be held accountable by AERC.


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[RC] re: recruiting vets, Cindy Collins
[RC] Sued Vet, Diane Trefethen