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Tragic horse passing Legal advice needed

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Hi My name is Julie. My daughter has been riding since she was 5yrs old. She is just an amazing girl. She loves riding, competing, and training younger kids to love horses as much as she does. Recently she lost her horse, Remington in a barn fire. She is grieving but along with it all the barn owner will not give us any insurance information. Has anyone had to deal with a situation like this before?
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While I have not lost horses in a barn fire, I have lost everything I've owned in house fires. I have lost horses over the years, some to old age, some to accidents, and most recently my stallion. He was an own son of High Brow Cat. He was only 22. He just looked like he laid down, went to sleep, and didn't wake up.
Its never easy.
I lost my cats in the house fires. So I do know the loss of life in a fire.

My heart goes out to her. Give her time, it seems to heal all just as the old saying goes. Not saying it's easy, cause it's not. But time does help. Its been 3 months since I lost my Cat, and I can at least now think about him and not have this massive lump in my throat and tears running. I've lost a lot of horses over the years, but none have affected me like my Cat did.

Hugs to you and your daughter.
 

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Hi Julie, so sorry for your loss. Ask your barn owner again for the information. Tell him/her if you don't get the information you will get advice about suing him/her for damage and loss if you can't put in your claim. Perhaps having that info first might help. Your laws are a bit different to ours so perhaps someone else has better ideas.

Was there something dodgy about the fire that the BO doesn't want to give you the information?

Good luck.
 

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I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know this must be terribly traumatic for your daughter and my heart goes out to her.

It's hard to give you any advice regarding insurance without knowing more about the situation. Do you know for a fact that there was insurance and that it included replacement value of horses? Here in Canada, you have to insure your horses lives if you wish to do so. Loss of life in a fire is not necessarily covered. So you'd need to know whether the barn was insured against fire, what the fire marshalls determined as the cause and what was reported on the insurance claim, and whether the horses were insured under the policy (or do you have your own policy to insure your horse's life?).

It may be worthwhile to contact a lawyer to ask questions on your behalf.
 

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Time is of the essence to get that insurance information. Submitting claims and getting reimbursement through insurance companies is a long, tedious process. I wonder, was she not insured properly for the business taking place on her property? Your daughter very well could have $5-10k of tack that was destroyed, and she is entitled to that money for replacement.
 

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I'm so sorry for the loss your family has had.....losing a animal is losing part of the family. It hurts...

Sadly, the avoidance you are having is possibly because the barn had no insurance...
Businesses can claim whatever they want, but when incident happens is when truth of a policy had or not is found out.
i would again ask for the information and tell them restitution is their responsibility as you entrusted your horse to them, their care and facility.... Hopefully you asking again now several days post the fire has given them enough time to get in touch with the insurance carrier alerting them to what occurred and that claims will be coming in.
I would also tell them it is not your wanting to do but if you must you will go to a lawyer and take them through the courts...indeed sue them for anything and everything they have to be compensated for your loss of animal and all personal and private items on the premise that belonged with that animal for its care and well-being along with tack housed in their facility.
I kind of doubt after what you've been through that getting another horse when ready and boarding it with this facility would be your plan. Understand that if you and when you follow through to get that restitution it will probably shut the door to being welcomed back as a boarder or lesson student if your daughter took her lessons at the place..

Again, so sorry for your loss and give your daughter a hug from all of us....we feel the hurt she has.:cry:
🐴...
 

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I don't think most barns have insurance for this sort of thing unless they are high value animals (like racing or expensive show horses). Unless you can prove the barn owner was negligent and this contributed to the fire/loss you are probably out of luck. I always worry about barn fires and avoid stalling unless absolutely necessary.
 

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What does your contract state? Was there a release of liability? There aren't laws that I'm aware of that mandate a boarding or lesson barn to carry insurance though a release and insurance go a long way to protecting a barn owner/instructor. And not having insurance is inviting personal financial disaster. Even if the BO claims to have insurance it's possible it was only homeowners or that it doesn't cover a boarder losing an animal (or personal property) in a fire. If the BO won't answer questions once you've given time for them to then contact a lawyer, preferably one familiar with equine law, and see what your legal recourse is. It may well be that in order to see a settlement you may have to sue. If the BO has no insurance and negligence can be determined then she may be personally held responsible for losses incurred by her boarders.
 

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I keep thinking about this tragedy....

It may be your claim has to go through your own homeowners policy for restitution..
Then your insurance company goes after the business insurance for compensation...or depending upon the business name sue the corporation or persons themselves.
That is between company and ..... not you.
🐴....
 

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I'm not 100% on this, but I'm pretty sure that negligence of the stable has to be proven in order to hold them liable for the cost/loss of a boarder's horse. Example: Seen gasoline cans stored in barn, known faulty wiring, or any kind of known history that stable failed to take care of.
As far as law, I think that if the stable took reasonable care to fire prevention then it is not held liable.

Where I board I see them constantly sweeping down cob webs, everything is kept neat and tidy, repairs taking place as soon as needed, nothing laying around, hay stored in separate location and so forth. They seem to take the responsibility of caring for others animals pretty seriously.

I would start by contacting the fire marshal and asking for their report as soon as it's possible to get their assessment of why the fire started and go from there.

I'm really sorry about the loss of your daughters horse. Barn fires are heartbreaking.
 

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Thank you so much for the outpouring of kindness and information. We have contacted a few different lawyers. We’re also going to talk with the fire Marshall. I’ve never experienced such an amazing horse community. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
I'd love to hear what you find out. I'm so sorry this happened to you and your daughter.
 

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So sorry you are having to deal with this. I cant even imagine losing a horse in this manner.. 😥

Seems to me that if the BO doesnt want to provide the insurance information, they may have either not had coverage at all or very little. The fire Marshall should be able to at least provide an investigative report...

June

She is grieving but along with it all the barn owner will not give us any insurance information. Has anyone had to deal with a situation like this before?
 

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Hi Julie,
I am also saying sorry for you and your daughters loss. Losing a family member is so very tough, especially when it is unexpected.
Sorry to be the devils advocate, but boarding stables generally do not carry insurance for anything they don't own. In most boarding agreements, you are required to carry insurance for your horse, tack and injuries caused to people you bring out. It is a rider on my home owners insurance. You may compare it to renters insurance for people who rent apartments, renters need it to cover their possessions. Good luck. Lora
 

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Don't know that this is true... I have boarded at a different facilities and all but one had insurance.. Most coverage was for the building and some of them had additional insurance which covered any/and all tack/feed/hay that they kept stored in their facilities, and then of course the horses... Boarders would carry a separate insurance... The insurance pays depending on whose "at fault"... The difference is the amount of insurance you carry... Basic coverage = building, additional amounts would depend on what you want covered....
of course the deductable usually has a lot to do with it.....

June
 

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The above link had the following information that may help you:

It's important to define what professional means before we begin discussing coverage for them. A professional for the purposes of this article is someone who is compensated for an activity pertaining to horses such as teaching, training, boarding, breeding or racing. All professionals have different circumstances and these will dictate the coverage that is needed.
The first scenario is the person who owns the farm also owns the horse business (boarding facility, riding stable, etc.). To ensure proper coverage, a farm policy package which includes insurance on all structures including the dwelling, barns, indoor arenas, etc., and liability protection for themselves personally and as a commercial business which would include the aforementioned activities would be most appropriate. It is also important for them to have a care, custody and control policy. This protects them in the case that negligence leads to the death or injury of one or more boarded horses. That covers them not only at the home property listed under their farm policy but also if they should be hauling the boarded horses to an event away from the farm. Care, custody and control is important for any barn to have. Remember accidents and mistakes can happen. Someone new starts working at the barn and turns your precious (and expensive) Saddlebred mare out in the paddock along with another mare that is known for being ornery and aggressive. A fight ensues and your mare is kicked in the shoulder, resulting in an emergency trip to the nearest equine clinic and months of rehabilitation. If the farm doesn't have a care, custody and control policy you could wind up responsible for footing the pricey bill.

The great aspect of care, custody and control is that it can be purchased separately, which is ideal for trainers that lease a barn or indoor and don't own the property. While the property owners should have the appropriate property coverage the trainer will be unable to insure the property since they don't own it. This policy leaves them protected in case a mishap occurs due to negligence. The care, custody and control policy is priced according to the choices that you have in selecting your limits of the policy. For example, if you value ten boarded horses at $5,000 each the maximum amount the client will be reimbursed for one horse is $5,000. The insurance company may also place an aggregate amount, which is the maximum amount the company will pay in case of a full loss. It's important to note that money will only be awarded if the trainer or stable was negligent.
Barns that have high dollar horses will in some cases request that the client keep a mortality and/or major medical policy on their horses.
 
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