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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse and have worked years

Customer Question

I am a Registered Veterinary Nurse and have worked for 12 years for a Veterinary company.
I have been on Maternity leave from November 2014 - November 2015.
My dog died within days of the birth of my son, while I was still in hospital.
I had her for 10 years and had her insured medically for the duration of her life.
In September 2014, it was necessary for her to received Veterinary attention and medication for a condition she had developed.
The medication was ordered through my Clinic and I received an insurance refund for part of the cost.
This medication was kept and administered at my home.
After the dog's death, a quantity of medication, still in date and in original packaging remained.
Following common practise at my Clinic, I took this to the clinic and in effect "sold" the medication to the practice, knowing that the drugs were commonly held by the practice and therefore the practice would not suffer loss by accepting them.
The funds from the sale of these drugs were applied first to pay off the balance of my account with the clinic and the balance went to my bank account.
I returned to work after my Maternity leave, on the 2nd of November 2015.
I had a return to work meeting with my line manager and then returned to my duties.
In mid November my line manager told me there was a discrepancy in my account, and suggested that I should have returned the proceeds of the sale to the insurers or I could be accused of insurance fraud.
I contacted the insurers and paid to them the proceeds of the sale. The insurers accepted the payment and didn't suggest that they believed there was any intention to defraud.
A few days later, when I started my shift, I was told that I was suspended, pending a hearing for Gross Misconduct.
I have just been informed that I have been dismissed.
Regardless of the conduct of my former employer, which I find quite incomprehensible, it seems to me that this matter hinges on the ownership of the drugs. Once I had taken possession of the drugs, were they mine, or did they belong to the insurance company ?
What rights did I have regarding the disposal of the surplus ?
In my clinic it was common practise to accept from clients left over drugs. We would either pay the client for the drugs that were still useable or accept them back from the client for disposal.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me were you sacked for selling stolen goods please.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No. The allegation was: "Personal gain to yourself through said refund; clearing your account to the value of £108.74 and then refunding to your own credit card the balance of £170.81"
The finding was:1. You were fully aware that the medications had been obtained via insurance rather than via a direct purchase by yourself.
2. You went to the practise with the sole intention of returning the items to seek a refund.
3. You did not follow your own normal practice of involving a Vet in the refund process process.
4. You made no attempt to contact the insurance company or to pay back the monies until it was brought to you attention by (Company Name).1 2 & 3. No dispute with this, except the use of the word "refund". It was in effect a sale of goods to the Clinic.
4 Wrong. I informed the insurer of the death of the dog and cancelled the insurance policy.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience delays.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
I have looked into your query in more detail but unfortunately it is not something I can assist with. I will therefore ‘opt out’ and a colleague better placed to deal with the nature of your query should hopefully pick this up soon. Please do not reply in the meantime as that will just assign the question back to me and you will experience a delay. Thank you
Expert:  Jenny replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** you still like assistance with this question?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No thank you

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