Horse Injury whose liable? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Injury whose liable?

I'm the barn owner... There is a 40 ft section of my fence that is just one rail pipe and it divides 2 pastures. We've had it like that for a year. We've had 3 horses go under it (14.2 and below) no injuries though.

A boarder's arab mare crawled under it into the other pasture with 2 other horses. After about 20 minutes her and another mother got into it and and the arab mare got a torn vulva.

The owner isn't mad or anything like that but another boarder mentioned she would've expected the barn owner to pay for it saying that it was negligence on my part for leaving the fence like that. I say it isn't because the boarder knew it was like that before she boarded her horse here. In fact, she asked about that particular part of the fence and we told her that yes horses have gotten under it before but it doesn't cause any injury and its infrequent. We also told her it was on our to-do list but wasn't a high priority.

Just curious what your opinion is..

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post #2 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 05:08 PM
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I personally don't think it is your responsibility to pay for the injury but I do think if the owner wanted to pursue it she may have a legal stand because you are the BO. Geuss that was no help.

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post #3 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 05:43 PM
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I would think it's the BO's responsibility. Even though you made the boarder aware of it, you did say that you intended to fix it which indicates that you know it's been a problem.

The boarder has a right to expect a certain amount of security and protection for their horse against a possible threat to the horse's safety. You, as the BO, recognized the possibility of a problem but chose to minimize it. As the BO you are supposed to know more then your borders so her not insisting on the problem be cured is not a way of shifting the responsibility.

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post #4 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 06:49 PM
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I think you would be seen as liable as you were aware of the problem but chose to do nothing about it and admitted to the boarder that you were aware of it but didn't think it was a high priority. A lawyer could easily argue neglience I'm afraid.

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post #5 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lis View Post
I think you would be seen as liable as you were aware of the problem but chose to do nothing about it and admitted to the boarder that you were aware of it but didn't think it was a high priority. A lawyer could easily argue neglience I'm afraid.
Agreed. If it has been a problem in the past, and the problem wasn't fixed and your boarder's horse got injured because of it, you should offer to pay for the vet bills arising from this.
When my horse got hurt, it wasn't caught right away (he was boarded indoors.) On top of that, I was unable to be there for the vet to come out (I was in the hospital myself) and she bought a whole bunch of bandaging supplies from the vet too, which was very expensive. I was very upset with the barn owner but didn't tell her as much. I moved Denny fairly quickly afterwards, and she lost business because of it.


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post #6 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 07:17 PM
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Yup it's your fault. You should pay for it or at least half. Make sure the fence gets fixed ASAP.

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post #7 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 07:28 PM
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at least offer to pay half if she turns you down then it is on her and her only

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post #8 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 08:41 PM
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I know there are laws in most states about people not being able to sue if they get hurt by a horse but I dont know of any that protect barn owners if a horse is injured. I believe it is very likely that you could be sued for negligence in a situation like this. Thankfully the horses owner isnt angry.

I would offer to pay atleast half and get the fence fixed asap. After all it was very kind for the horses owner to not get upset over this. :)


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post #9 of 45 Old 11-09-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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By that precedent, if a person boards their horse at a facility with a section of barb wire and that horse gets hurt then the barn would be liable! Let say there are trees in a pasture... A horse could poke its eye on a branch and lose and eye. A stall has a plastic corner feeder, a horse could put a leg through it slicing through a tendon. The horse owner knows of these risks but it's still the barn owners fault?

Also, the horse that caused the actual injury had a shoe nail sticking out of that hind hoof and the owner knew about it.. Is she liable ?

MY fence did not cause the injury. I don't see how this would be any different than turning these two horses out together and them getting into a fight. So if you turn out 2 horses together and they injure each other that would also be my fault? This injury could've happened with her being in the original pasture. I also told her that portion of the fence would likely be fixed in the next month or two. She has only been here for 2 or 3 weeks.

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post #10 of 45 Old 11-10-2009, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
By that precedent, if a person boards their horse at a facility with a section of barb wire and that horse gets hurt then the barn would be liable!
Yes, especially if you recognized it and mentioned it to your boarder. Barbed wire is a known danger to horses.

Quote:
Let say there are trees in a pasture... A horse could poke its eye on a branch and lose and eye. A stall has a plastic corner feeder, a horse could put a leg through it slicing through a tendon. The horse owner knows of these risks but it's still the barn owners fault?
The tree is a natural obstacle unlike leaving a piece of farm machinery in the middle of the field that causes a horse to break his leg. The plastic feeder - if sold for use with horses, could end up as a law suit for the manufacturer but if it was not intended for the use of horses, you could be held liable.

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