For Pamela Ferrara, her Shih Tzu Camilla was more than a pet. The 9-year-old dog was loved like a child. Ferrara and her husband do not have other children and they are still grieving the loss of their pup. Now they have filed a lawsuit against Tampa Bay Veterinary for medical malpractice.
Malpractice lawsuits against veterinarians are becoming more and more common in recent years, but they are incredibly difficult for attorneys to prove. Joyce Tischler form the Animal Legal Defense Fund said that it’s very rare for pet owners to recover much in the way of monetary damages in these cases. However, the Ferrera couple are not giving up in their fight to see justice on behalf of their dog.
In media reports, Pamela recalls how much of the couple’s lives revolved around Carmella. She said the dog had a favorite television show and song. They even let the dog eat dinner with them, getting her own hamburger. One of Carmella’s favorite things was getting a “Beggin Strips” treat. She would give the dog one of these treats anytime she left the house. But one day she came home and saw that the treat had not been eaten and Carmella was lethargic.
Pamela took her to the primary care veterinarian where they learned that Carmella had immune mediated hemolytic anemia. Her conditioned worsened and the Ferraras took her to Tampa Bay Veterinary. There, the doctor told them Carmella was in bad shape with only a 40 percent chance to survive. “She ended up having three blood transfusions that week,” Pamela said. “If she started to decline again, Chris and I decided, we were going to take her home and let her pass away at home.”
The dog seemed to bounce back, but the couple remained cautious to monitor her health. They wound up with around $7,000 in veterinary bills, but still didn’t blink when Carmella relapsed three years later. The dog was coughing up blood when they took her back to Tampa Bay Veterinary. This time, the doctor wanted to simply send the dog home. Pamela said they asked for the company president to see their pet, but they were refused. They rushed her back to the primary care veterinarian, but her condition had deteriorated by then. It was too late and Carmella died.
Now the Ferraras have filed a lawsuit against Tampa Bay Veterinary for negligence, loss of income, and severe emotional distress. “It kills me the most, the way she was treated. If she was treated better and they gave her that fighting chance, I would have accepted it,” Pamela said. The couple is seeking an estimated $50,000 in damages from the lawsuit. Pamela said that she was out of work for six months due to her distress over Carmella’s death.
Tampa wrongful death attorney Christopher Ligori said these types of lawsuits are a growing trend in Florida. “We are seeing more and more pet owners who are willing to take the risk to pursue negligence lawsuits against veterinarians.”
Big Don was passionate about two things in life: music and his family. Twenty-five-year-old Dontae Hill graduated from Armwood High School, where he was known for his rap skills. In recent years, he even started recording his own songs and publishing them through YouTube videos. But as much as he loved music, he loved his one-year-old son even more. Affectionately called “Little Don”, the toddler will soon be a big brother, but both children will grow up without their father.
According to police reports, Dontae was killed in a violent car accident. The impact was so intense that it actually split the car in half in the middle of a busy intersection. The accident is still under investigation, but police believe 28-year-old Johnathan Honza was likely drunk when he slammed into Dontae’s car. Officers reported the smell of alcohol and obvious signs of impairment when they arrived on the scene. Sergeant Steve Gaskins said, “If he wasn’t sitting in the hospital, he’d be in jail right now.”
The accident happened just as Hill’s Acura started to enter an intersection. Honza ran the red light and crashed into the driver’s side at full speed. Debris from the Acura flew across the intersection and hit another car stopped at the red light, but no one in that vehicle was injured. Hill died shortly after the collision at Tampa General Hospital, the same place where he was born just 25 years earlier.
Honza was also transported to the hospital where he is being treated for serious injuries. Officials report that Honza had been previously accused of driving under the influence when he drove onto a curb in 2013 and got his car stuck. When police arrived on the scene, Honza reportedly was slurring his words, but refused to do a sobriety test or consent to a blood test. Charges were later reduced to reckless driving and Honza was placed on probation.
Honza also had two prior DUI charges in Oregon in 2008 and 2009. He failed to appear at court dates for both charges and there are still outstanding warrants for his arrest, along with a third warrant related to a charge for possession of alcohol.
Hill’s father said he was getting dressed for work when police notified him that his son had been in an accident. Before he could get to the hospital, other family members were calling and he saw a news report that showed images of his son’s car split in half. When he got to the hospital, it was too late and Dontae was already gone. His father is still trying to make sense of the tragedy and why Honza would choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, “If he was under the influence, why couldn’t he have called Uber or someone to take him home so this incident never would have taken place?”
Tampa personal injury attorney Bill Winters said, “Drunk driving claims thousands of innocent lives every year. This is a senseless tragedy where one person’s poor decisions have robbed two young children of every knowing what it’s like to grow up with an adoring father.”
The Internet has become a powerful weapon nowadays and in the wrong hands, it can create a great damage. The most vulnerable area, where the Internet has major issues is shopping online. Costumes are required to reveal their personal information, banking accounts, credit cards, their images or even their contact information. That is why every customer may become subject to the identity or money theft.
People fail to recognize how their lives have become endangered just because they reveal too much information online. To protect yourself better, we will explain legal terms such as identity theft and online safety, and if something like this happens, you will know how to seek appropriate help.
This type of crime has become common in the modern society. Unfortunately, so many people are still unaware of it. But, how is this crime committed? A thief uses private information of an individual against him; thief intention isn’t only focused on financial information, such as bank accounts and credit cards, but also on other data, such as medical records, personal email, social security number and other unprotected data. Anything that isn’t secured can be used against you.
There are ways to protect your personal records, and one of them is by limiting the flow of information. Keep your personal information secure, use strong passwords for all accounts and protect your computer data with a strong antivirus software.
If by any chance you find out that your identity has been stolen, immediately close all your accounts and report such an action to company fraud division. It would be wise to have the copies of all documents that will be able to support your claim. Identity theft can also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, and they are proven to be more efficient than local police.
There are some cases where scammers reached their victims through emails. Two usual methods scammers use are phishing and spoofing. The first method, an e-mail phishing, a fraudster impersonates to be a business partner of uses another entry to get a hold of personal information of the victim. The second method, an e-mail spoofing, the fraudster uses external links to convince the reader of an email, to follow that link and then he puts a malware into his computer.
This is a severe type of digital fraud, and it is very hard to discover. FBI has some advice for all online users: do not respond to emails that have suspicious content, track all your accounts and transactions and always be cautious when someone who is unknown to you tries to make a contact through an email.
If you have suffered any this frauds, you should report it immediately. FBI works closely with their citizens and also has two separate divisions, FTC and National Fraud Information Center, where you can file a complaint against such action and seek legal help.