Orange County Superior Court
West Justice Center
8141 13th Street
Westminster, CA 92683

Case No. 794694

Filed: August 19, 1998

Joanna Patrice

Robert Rooks, D.V.M.
All-Care Animal Referral Center

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint:
1. Fraud and Deceit
2. Negligence (Lack of Consent)
3. Breach of Contract
4. Conversion

On or about September 27, 1997, plaintiff consulted defendants and each of them for veterinary services for plaintiff's beloved companion cat, RUSTY, (hereinafter, "Rusty") owned by plaintiff. Defendants and each of them verbally agreed to and undertook to provide paid service.

On or about September 28, 1997, defendant Dr. Rooks performed surgery on plaintiff's beloved companion cat "Rusty;" thereafter "Rusty" suffered for four days and on October 1, 1997, "Rusty" died from cardiac arrest while in the care and possession of the defendants and each of them.

Defendants' conduct resulting in "Rusty's" death caused plaintiff to suffer damages in excess of $25,000.00.


All-Care paid off out of court.

Background information

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereupon alleges that during 1997, prior to September 27, 1997, defendants falsely and fraudulently and in violation of Business and Professions Code sections 651, 4883(f) and (i) and 17500, through the medium of print ads (attached as Exhibits 1 and 2) represented to the public, and that class of persons who seek high-level care for their beloved companion animals, such as the plaintiff, that defendants Dr. Rooks and All Care had a staff of Board Certified Specialists, specially-trained nurses and state of the art equipment needed to provide top-level veterinary care 24 hours a day. On or about September 27, 1997, defendant Dr. Rooks, for himself, and as an agent of All Care, falsely and fraudulently represented directly and verbally to the plaintiff that "we have the finest Board Certified specialists and the very latest state of the art equipment. No one else but ------- (a New York hospital plaintiff cannot recall) has anything close to this"; Dr. Rooks indicated that the surgery was "necessary" because "Rusty" was "in pain"; that "Rusty" exhibited no symptoms of pain because "cats are stoic", that "Rusty" would become "crippled" if he did not have the surgery; Dr. Rooks characterized the surgery "simple and routine", indicating that plaintiff would "have your kid home the next day" and that if it were his cat "he would not hesitate, except, of course, if money is a problem"; that Dr. Rooks derives his authority by being the owner of All Care; Dr. Rooks was speaking to the plaintiff when he made the foregoing misrepresentations and false and fraudulent statements; that Dr. Rooks said that All Care was staffed with Board Certified specialists (said verbally and by way of writings in the reception area of All Care) that All Care had state of the art equipment, that surgery was necessary for plaintiff's cat "Rusty," that the surgery was simple and routine; the statements were made on or about September 27, 1997; the statements induced plaintiff's reliance by making her feel certain that "Rusty" would be given the highest quality care by board certified specialists with all the latest and best equipment available to them and that given all of those circumstances surely "Rusty" would be in good hands; plaintiff's reliance resulted in her leaving "Rusty" in the care of the defendants where she did not receive the care of board certified specialists and did not have the equipment necessary for her care.

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereupon alleges that the representations were false; the true facts are that the nursing staff referred to in the print ads is not "specialized"; the "nurses" consist of unlicensed individuals hired as "veterinary technicians"; there is no "staff of Board Certified Specialists"; of the veterinarians pictured in the ad, only defendant, Dr. Rooks, is Board Certified; the remaining six are not only not "Board Certified" but do not have any special training; of the remaining six veterinarians, several live out of state and come to All Care rarely and irregularly, there are not "over 25 doctors on staff"; only the 13 doctors depicted in exhibits were "on staff"; the equipment necessary to monitor plaintiff's beloved "Rusty" after surgery was inadequate.

The facts that defendants, Dr. Rooks and All Care, falsely and fraudulently misrepresented in its print ads and the facts falsely and fraudulently misrepresented verbally by defendant Dr. Rooks directly to plaintiff were all material in that they are the facts upon which plaintiff based her decision to consult with defendants, Dr. Rooks and All Care, and her decision to leave her beloved "Rusty" in defendants' care for surgery; defendants, All Car and Dr. Rooks, knew that such facts would be the basis of plaintiff's decision to engage defendants and each of their services as well as the basis of her consent to the surgery and therefore that the facts were material, and defendants and each of them also knew that the true facts were not known to or readily accessible to the plaintiff; plaintiff acted in reliance on the foregoing false and fraudulent statements by the defendants in deciding to consult the defendants and in agreeing to allow defendant Dr. Rooks to do surgery on "Rusty."

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereupon alleges when defendants, All Care and Dr. Rooks, made the false representations each knew that they were false because defendant, Dr. Rooks, is the owner and operator of All Care and by that capacity would have known the composition and qualifications of his own staff, and the nature and condition of his equipment.

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereupon alleges that defendants, All Care and Dr. Rooks, misrepresented the aforestated material facts with an intent to defraud the plaintiff and all members of that class of persons who want to provide the best available health care for their companion animals, and for the purpose of inducing said class of persons, including the plaintiff, to rely upon such representations by trusting their companion animals including plaintiff's beloved companion "Rusty" to defendants' for veterinary care.

At the time the aforementioned misrepresentations were made, and at the time plaintiff took the action of leaving her beloved "Rusty" in the care of the defendants and each of them, plaintiff was ignorant of the falsity of said misrepresentations and believed them to be true. In reliance on all of these misrepresentations, individually and in toto, plaintiff was induced to and did consult with defendants and then did entrust her beloved "Rusty" to defendants' care for surgery and post-operative care; plaintiff's reliance on the representations of the defendants' was justified because defendants' print ads were large and impressive and plaintiff had seen them many times in the past; plaintiff had read about All Care and heard about defendant, Dr. Rooks, on television; plaintiff was devoted to her companion cat "Rusty" and wanted only the best care available thereby making her vulnerable to the deceptive language defendants used in their ads which Dr. Rooks repeated to plaintiff; plaintiff reposed trust and confidence in defendant, Dr. Rooks, because of his superior knowledge, experience, education, and training; plaintiff had no reason to doubt the defendants' truthfulness. Had plaintiff known the true facts, i.e., that there was no "staff of Board Certified Specialists", no "highly specialized doctor and nursing staff", that in fact most of the technicians All Care employed had little or no training and/or experience, and that the equipment "Rusty" needed would not be available, plaintiff would never have engaged the services of defendants, All Care and Dr. Rooks, and clearly would never have left her beloved "Rusty" in defendants' care for surgery.

As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned conduct and misrepresentations of material facts by the defendants and each of them, plaintiff suffered the loss of her companion cat, and was caused to incur the expenses of pathologists and crematory services in connection with "Rusty's" death.