Originally Posted by Valerie90191
I broke my boarding contract because the stable owner was feeding my horse moldy hay. She also did not build the three sided shelter she promised. She is now suing me, does she have a case?
Whenever there is a difference of opinion, there is a "case." Resolving disputes is what why we have a civil court system.
Usually, a lawyer will agree that you have a case. Of course, that depends on how much money is involved.
Usually, smaller monetary amounts end up in small claims court. Many people do not use a lawyer in that court and the rules are considered more "relaxed" compared to a regular court.
You can only sue for damages. From the information given, it would be hard to believe you are being sued for anything but board owed. Even at that, the barn could really only hope to collect lost income, which is less that what you were supposed to pay (if board is $500 and it cost them $300 to keep the horse, then they could expect to collect $200). Of course, anything can happen in court.
Did the stable file in small claims court? Even if your contract was for a full year (most are month to month with a 30 day notification clause) it would still fall inside small claims limits in most places.
Either way you should speak to a lawyer. Only a real lawyer in your area can properly advise you on the best course of action. Only a real lawyer can give you real legal advice.
If it does go to court, you will either end up settling on an amount or the judge will order a settlement. From the very limited information here, my guess is you are both a little wrong.
Moldy hay... can you prove it? Did you notify the stable (in writing)? Did they respond to your complaint? Did you give them an opportunity to rectify the problem? Did your horse suffer any ill effects from the hay? Did you incur vet charges? Did you call a vet to verify that the hay was moldy? Was the hay in question actually harmful to the horse and can you produce an expert who will back you up on that?
Shelter... is it in the contract? Is a time frame for building it specified? Did you notify them in writing of your intention to move due to their breach of contract? Did you give them opportunity to rectify the situation (and prove you did)?
Did you try to work this out with the stable prior to leaving?
I am not asking for the answers, only trying to point out the type of questions that will likely come up if the legal route is pursued. Remember that both sides are always sure they are "right."
Again, if you were actually sued (served papers) you need to talk to a lawyer who can properly advise you on your next step.