Four Paws Animal Hospital

Katya Whitehead, a four-legged critter, died on July 19, 2005.

Last week her owner filed a $100,000 personal property damage suit against a veterinarian and an animal hospital claiming they were negligent in the dog's care.

Plaintiff Sarah Whitehead also claims she suffered distress over her inability to pay for Katya's medical care.

According to the complaint filed June 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Katya was admitted to Four Paws Animal Hospital in O'Fallon on June 20, 2002, for an exploratory arthrotomy and died on July 19, 2005.

The suit claims veterinarian James Jessen, D.V.M. failed to exercise the ordinary amount of diligence and vigilance so as to refrain from allowing infection and disfigurement to Katya.

Ms. Whitehead, who is suing the animal hospital and Jessen, claims she has suffered damages in the cost of Katya's repair and the difference in the fair cash market value of the property immediately prior to the occurrence and its (Katya's) fair market value after its (Katya's) repair.

Attorney Christopher M. Donohoo of John J. Hopkins & Associates is representing Sarah Whitehead.

"Plaintiff...has suffered extreme mental anguish, worry and distress about her inability to pay the amounts demanded," the complaint states.

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