What the Veterinary Experts Said About Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, Texas, and His Treatment of Suki

When Ed Nichols sued me in 2005 in a vicious, bully SLAPP suit, he wasn't smart enough to know that his obsession with "winning"  was going to afford me the unprecedented opportunity to obtain veterinary expert testimony. With a lawsuit in play, the vets that I contacted knew that because he had sued me, their expert reports would be handled accordingly within a court of law. 

Within three weeks, I had all the vet experts I needed on my side who ended up corroborating my initial allegations of repeated vet malfeasance inflicted on Suki by Edward J. Nichols and Crestway Animal Clinic. 

As the case neared its end, we learned that Nichols had no testifying expert. Four days before the trial date, we submitted our list to the court. Nichols submitted no such list because he had nothing to submit. It quickly became clear that not even Nichols' sleaziest cohorts were going to risk their own veterinary careers lying for him. He did get one vet friend to write a ridiculously convoluted mess of a "report," but even that vet bailed two days before his court ordered deposition, apparently unwilling to torch his own extremely lucrative career for a known liar. 

Nichols  was high and dry, with no testifying expert either on paper or in person, just one of the reasons Nichols' attorney came crawling the night before trial, wanting to settle. In his neverending attempts to rewrite history, Nichols now shamelessly proclaims that he had two of Suki's second opinion hospital vets ready to testify on his behalf in a lawsuit that ended in 2008. Really? Where were these "experts" at the time?  Nowhere, or he would have produced them. More lies and more attempts by Nichols to retry a case that he lost seven years ago and can never win.

To this day, the arrogant and manipulative Nichols "testifies" constantly to his fans and flunkies with his own falsified version of events, far from the scrutiny of a judge, jury, and a court of law. He is free to lie, and lie, and lie. He has others with their own vicious agendas helping him spread lies and libel--including false accusations of criminal activity entirely fabricated by him--in the hopes he can destroy my reputation as payback.

Payback for what? For catching him. For proving what he did to Suki, for refusing to bow to his bully lawsuit, and for finding brave and honest vets willing to go on the record to expose what his disgrace of a vet did to an innocent animal and an unsuspecting guardian who made the huge mistake of trusting a professional liar.

I can never thank these brave and honest vets enough. Below is just a small part of what they wrote to help me prove the truth. How I wish that any one of them had been Suki's vet, instead of the monster that we ended up with and didn't deserve. 

--JC

NOTE: It's important to remember that the evidence that the experts reviewed--one page patient chart, front and back, and four lab works--is the identical evidence that Martin E. Garcia, DVM, reviewed at the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners informal conference against Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, August 17, 2000. 

As the sole reviewing vet on the complaint I filed against Edward J. Nichols, Crestway Animal Clinic, Garcia stated that no violations occurred. Garcia closed the case, no other vet on the board ever saw the complaint, and Suki's case never went to board hearing. Garcia stopped and sealed it before it could be investigated any further. As a vet, Garcia knew exactly what Nichols had done and chose to ignore all evidence. My petitions over three years to reopen the case were repeatedly denied, and  Edward J. Nichols continues to happily practice with a "clean" record--and all of his lies.

 

VETERINARY TESTIFYING EXPERT #1

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

[NOTE: Summary only--pages of detail accompanied this]

"Based on the information I have reviewed, it is my opinion that the following actions of Dr. Nichols were a breach of accepted standard of care of a geriatric cat with known renal disease undergoing general anesthesia for a dental extraction:

Failure to obtain preanesthetic laboratory test results.

Failure to record a thorough physical examination in the medical record.

Failure to take and record arterial blood pressure prior to general anesthesia.

Failure to document type of subcutaneous fluids administered.

Failure to administer intravenous fluids to correct severe dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities.

Failure to inform Ms. Catalano of the risks of general anesthesia of Suki.

Use of an inappropriate anesthetic regimen for this patient.

Failure to document what monitoring, if any, was used during general anesthesia.

Failure to include proper information regarding drug administration in the medical record." [Source: Designated testifying expert's written report]

 

VETERINARY EXPERT WITNESS #2

PRIVATE PRACTICE

[NOTE: In addition to other transgressions elaborated on in the expert report, this expert vet addresses the most hideous mistreatment Nichols inflicted on Suki--putting her in an induction box and gassing her while she lay dying, severely dehydrated, in multiple organ shutdown (his writing on his chart). Nichols claimed he had to remove a tooth. At the time of unauthorized and dangerous anesthesia and surgery, I had no knowledge of what he was doing to my cat. (During his lawsuit against me, Nichols admitted in his deposition that HE makes the decision whether or not to contact the owner about procedures he performs.)]

Expert #2:

"Considering Suki's history of elevated kidney values, kidney failure should have been very high on the differential list on April 19, 1999. Although an abscessed tooth is a problem, establishing normal organ function is a priority over an infected tooth. The normal standard of care is to use an intravenous catheter and fluid therapy to rehydrate the patient pending bloodwork results. Anesthetic procedures should not be performed until the patient is stabilized and bloodwork results can be evaluated. Dr. Edward J. Nichols wrote on the exam form that the bloodwork showed 'multiple organ shutdown'. Multiple organ shutdown means that the patient is not an anesthetic candidate. 

Gas anesthesia results in reduced renal blood flow. Using intravenous fluids to maintain normal blood pressure helps protect the kidneys from hypoxic injury due to lowered renal perfusion under anesthesia. Anesthetizing a dehydrated patient like Suki, with a history of abnormal kidney bloodwork, leads to additional kidney damage and acute renal failure one top of the chronic underlying renal disease that was probably present. [Source: Expert vet witness]

[And more...]

"Old age is not a disease, nor is it a reason to withhold treatment from a patient. It is the client's choice whether to pursue aggressive therapy for their geriatric pet. The medical records show no discharge instructions for Ms. Catalano to care for her pet in 'multiple organ shutdown'. Additionally, the records do not show any attempt to refer Ms. Catalano to an overnight care facility such as an emergency clinic, where intravenous fluid therapy could have been performed throughout the night. Ms. Catalano could also have been referred to the nearest veterinary specialist for a second opinion or for intensive care.

Although Suki likely had chronic renal failure, it is possible that had the standard of care been offered to Ms. Catalano Suki might have pulled out of the crisis and been able to live a bit longer with the help of subcutaneous fluids, renal dietary management, and erythropoietin. Unfortunately, we will never know if Suki could have rebounded had she been treated properly.

[Here is Veterinary Expert #2's closing paragraph, which my attorneys used in court to help defeat Ed Nichols' bully (and unconstitutional) motion for temporary injunction. Nichols filed his threatening SLAPP suit to try to silence me from telling Suki's Story. He failed, and failed again on appeal.]

"Rather than giving up on a cat just because it is old, consideration should be given for a client's need to do everything possible to humanely buy a little more time with their friend. Please remember that Ms. Catalano's relationship with Suki is the human-animal bond that drew many of us into the veterinary profession in the first place. That bond needs to be respected." [Source: Expert vet witness]

*The names of our expert vets have been withheld to help them avoid being the targets of any potential bullying by their colleagues.

For the condensed timeline and documentation of Ed Nichols' longtime mistreatment of Suki, and the sequence of events in his failed bully SLAPP suit against me, go to

What Happened to Suki...and What Happened to Me

For the extended version of what Ed Nichols did to Suki:

Read Suki's Story

 

Whatever Happened to Martin Garcia, the Board Vet Who Protected Ed Nichols at the Informal Conference?

Martin E. Garcia, DVM, the arrogant, ignorant reviewing vet who ignored all of the evidence proving Ed Nichols' negligence and unilaterally dismissed Suki's complaint, was later found in violation of controlled substance statutes in 2011. Garcia was given the opportunity to voluntarily surrender his license in lieu of disciplinary action. As of this writing, Garcia does not appear on the license verification page of the TBVME. If his status changes, it  will be reported here. Meanwhile, read  his disciplinary action below from the Texas Veterinary Board and decide for yourself Garcia's disturbing capacity for dishonesty, deception, and betrayal of public trust over multiple years.

Martin E. Garcia, Agreed Order, Docket No. 2011-70

 

 

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