Horse Owner Wins Laminitis Lawsuit

Jane McGarel-Groves was awarded 350,000 GBP (about $608,280 US) in damages after suing two veterinarians that treated her 14-year-old dressage horse Annastasia in 2001 with corticosteroid joint injections. The injections inadvertently caused laminitis, according to a report on the BBC web site, and the horse was euthanatized.

French equestrian team veterinarian Erik Grandiere of Clinique Veterinaire Equine de Chantilly and Philip Glyn of Priors Farm Equine Veterinary Surgery are the veterinarians that were caring for Annastasia. Grandiere administered the injections while Glyn oversaw the procedure.

Anastasia first received corticosteroid injections in her left hock in March 1999. After a poor performance at a show in 2001, Grandiere injected both hocks and her back. The mare suffered a reaction to the injections and developed laminitis. McGarel-Groves argued that had she known the injections posed the risk of causing laminitis in her mare, she would never have gone through with the procedure.

SurreyOnline reported that defense lawyers for the veterinarians said corticosteroid injections are common in performance horses, and there is less than a 0.6% chance that the horse would develop laminitis as a result of the injections.

About the Author

Marcella M. Reca Zipp, MS

Marcella Reca Zipp, M.S., is a former staff writer for The Horse. She is completing her doctorate in Environmental Education and researching adolescent relationships with horses and nature. She lives with her family, senior horse, and flock of chickens on an island in the Chain O'Lakes.

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