It’s a question of professional malpractice and it involves horses. Tichner v Goldens Bridge Inc. 2018 NY Slip Op 31488(U) July 2, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 651517/13 Judge: Nancy M. Bannon is about a girl who gets her pony. She rides the pony, competes with the pony, and then sues the farm who sold her the pony. Was it their fault, was it the Vet’s fault, and most importantly, for us, can the Vet be sued for his opinion?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is that absent actual misrepresentation, the opinion that the pony was sound cannot be attacked on the basis that the pony was not sound some time later.
“Briefly, as alleged in the complaint, Tichner sought to purchase a horse for her daughter to use in beginner horse competitions. In March 2012, Tichner contacted the Heritage Farm defendants to find a suitable horse to be used for competitions and for potential resale at a later time. The complaint asserts that the Heritage Farm defendants eventually found a horse named Sports Talk, who was “the perfect horse” for Tichner’s needs, and “an incredible jumper.” Tichner then requested that the Heritage Farm defendants obtain a pre-purchase medical exam of the horse, and they arranged such an exam with Miller, a veterinary practice. Miller conducted the pre-purchase examination of Sports Talk, including radiography, and the Heritage Farm defendants advised Tichner that Sports Talk was “sound, healthy, possessed no physical defects, was fit for competitive jumping and was a good investment pony.”
“Miller established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent misrepresentation causes of action against it with the
affidavit of Christopher B. Miller, in which he asserts that he properly rendered an opinion based on his veterinary expertise, and that he made no misleading statements to the plaintiff. The plaintiff does not oppose or address these arguments. Since the plaintiff thus did not raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to Miller’s showing in this regard, Miller is entitled to summary judgment dismissing those causes of action against it. “