Who is responsible? Hypothetical - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Question Who is responsible? Hypothetical

I have a hypothetical question.

Let's say a boarder's horse was brought in from the pasture for feeding time and she was found to be injured. The injury is a pretty severe gash on her hock that is bleeding profusely. The horse becomes shocky and almost passes out a few times while waiting for the vet to come out. When the vet comes out she is sedated and sutured up, however it is found that she has severed several tendons and will require a lot of stall rest for possibly months and definitely no riding.

The next day the cause of the injury is found. It turns out that there was a pile of tin behind the water trough. Somehow the horse must've have been near the water, zapped herself, and slid her leg under the fence and cut herself. This has to be the cause because blood was found on the tin.

Here is my question. Since this is a boarding horse, is the BO in any way responsible for the vet bill and loss of $$ to the owner since the horse is unrideable?
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post #2 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 10:37 AM
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Doesn't sound like it to me. Especially with this: Somehow the horse must've have been near the water, zapped herself, and slid her leg UNDER THE FENCE and cut herself.

Last edited by Dreamcatcher Arabians; 11-15-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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post #3 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 10:41 AM
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Tin sitting around would not be the smartest thing to be in a pasture, and that would really bother me, but accidents happen. I would not think the BO would be responsible for an accident. Horses will find ways to get into things and get themselves hurt at some point, there's not a whole lot you can do to prevent that.
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post #4 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 10:41 AM
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Nope. The boarder accepted the condition of the pasture and still chose to turn the horse out there. There is also usually a clause in any boarding agreement saying something like "the boarder agrees that horses are large and destructive animals and will not hold the stable responsible for any injury or damage due to the size and destructiveness of the animal". Even if there is no boarding agreement, its a poopy thing for the boarder to do. The BO did not take a knife to the horse. If the boarder has an issue then s/he can ask for the pasture to be cleaned up. I have honestly seen horses injure themselves on basically everything, no matter how safe or well designed.

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post #5 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 10:42 AM
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Crap happens and horses get hurt. We know that as owners going in.

I wouldn't hold the BO responsible unless the piece of tin was laying out in the open in the pasture, which it wasn't.

If the horse zapped herself, slid under the fence, and cut herself on something behind the water trough, that's hardly the BO's fault. That's just a weird, unhappy set of circumstances.
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post #6 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 11:17 AM
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Somehow the horse must've have been near the water, zapped herself, and slid her leg under the fence and cut herself

Read more: Who is responsible? Hypothetical

This part of the "hypothetical" is not clear and to me is the base of the question?

Behind the water trough? Was the pile hidden from sight? Was the pile outside of the pasture? Was it a new pile? or had it been there? Had it been reported by boarders as a possible "safety hazard" to the BO? What does the contract say?

There has to be a "known negligence."
To my knowledge, you could not collect $ on not being able to ride your horse while on stall rest, unless the rider has a income from riding the horse.

Good barn owners are always on alert for possible hazards, but boarders should also keep a vigil eye. If the boarder knew the pile was there, failed to report it to the BO, the boarder apparently did not think it was a hazard.

Hind-Sight is always a eye opener.

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post #7 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 11:42 AM
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I am not convinced there is an absolute in where the horse was hurt. It sounds as though the horse would have to be basically a contortionist to get BEHIND the water and UNDER the fence, I would rather doubt the tin was responsible.
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post #8 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the tin was the only thing they could find with blood on it. The horse that was injured happened to be the BO's horse.
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post #9 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 12:30 PM
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Unfortunately pasture gremlins live every where. They are very sneaky and seldom captured.
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post #10 of 46 Old 11-15-2011, 12:40 PM
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to many variables, It really depends on the legalities of the jurisdiction and the specific situation.
If the pile was placed there after the horse owner inspected and was put in a place a reasonable person would or should have known was likely to cause injury and the BO knew about it and didnt act then he could be liable. Youd have to prove gross negligence most likely and still it's gonna depend on the local laws.
If it was a situation where noone in a million years would expect that injury to happen then the BO would not be held liable.
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