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lecoeurtriste
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:12 PM
Last night at our barn, a teenage boarder (18-19 year old) brought two friends out to ride after 10pm. They didn't turn on any of the lights near either the paddock or the ring--and it was PITCH BLACK. When she went into the paddock to get her horse, the other two geldings in the field came to the gate to see/beg treats from her friends who remained outside. As she came back to the gate with her horse, her friends swung their flashlights around and she waved her arms to shoo the two beggars away (she was right behind the two loose horses--can you see where this is going?). Between the flashing lights and waving arms, one of the loose horses kicked out before turning to run away...he hit her square in the face! Long story short, she had to be airlifted to a trauma center (where she is expected to fully recover--thank goodness!).

While walking up directly behind a horse in the dead of night and waving your arms and flashlights doesn't seem to show much common sense, can the farm or individual horse owner be held responsible for her injuries? Our "barn rules" specify no riding after 10pm (even under the lights). After this happened, I checked both my equine and home owners insurance policies, and neither would seem to cover injuries caused by a horse (the home owners would if the horse were kept at home as a "pet"). Has anyone ever dealt with this before? Is there any special insurance horse owners should have to protect them when their horses share paddocks (i.e. don't have individual turnout)? It's the first time at our farm that someone has been injured by another person's horse (and in the paddock no less), and we're all shaken. Thanks for any insights!

LKF
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:25 PM
What's in your boarding contract? Is there a farm waiver/release?
Why were they out there so late?
I would be extremely proactive right now and make sure that you're protected and the owner of said horse is protected.
In my opinion, they were trespassing.
Does your state have a Equine Activities Law? If you do, I hope that you have the signs posted at your entrance and on the barn in full view.
I'd review and update your boarding contract and come down hard on anyone who doesn't abide by them.

snoopy
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:26 PM
leave town!!!;)

oldbutnotdead
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:33 PM
I recommend that you retain an attorney. Also, I suggest that you not talk about the incident with anyone other than your attorney, and I caution you especially not to discuss it, and the facts involved, on a public bulletin board. Indeed, I would delete your original post.

Bogie
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:37 PM
If it is your own privately owned horse and you do not use it for any commercial purpose (lesson or lease) you can purchase personal liability insurance. It's not that much -- about $250/year which can cover several horses.

However, best to speak to an attorney.

IFG
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:39 PM
I am not a lawyer, but I went out to get my horse is a paddock at the boarding barn several years ago. His friend galloped up between us (from across the field) and kicked me in the chest. I drove myself to the ER where I spent the better part of a day drinking barium, getting IV contrast, and having X-rays and CTs.

My insurance company was not eager to pay the bill. They sent me a letter asking whether anyone could be held responsible. I work in health care research and knew the deal so I completed it stating that it was an accident. That relieved the barn owner and horse owner of responsibility.

If I had said otherwise, the insurance company would have gone after the boarding barn and potentially the horse owner for payment of the bills.

I carry liability insurance for my horse. I was told that if the accident occurs at a boarding barn, the barn is reposnsible because they have care and custody of your horse.

Good luck. I would speak to the barn owner.

facinated
Jun. 26, 2008, 06:49 PM
I say that you should NOT assume that the people will blame you. Be sympathetic, do not argue, show concern. You did nothing wrong don't act like you did. Do not be critical of the kids. Even experienced horsemen do stupid things.

lecoeurtriste
Jun. 26, 2008, 07:01 PM
Just to clarify, I'm not the barn owner...just a boarder at the facility where the accident happened. This is the first time something like this has happened at any barn I've ever been at, and it got us all thinking and wondering if could happen again to us or someone else. I know the farm owner has insurance (obviously)...and our boarding contract specifies no riding after 10pm for lighting/safety reasons. I was just curious to see what other people had experienced because it's not something that happens regularly (does it??). I completely understand the need for farm owners, trainers, coaches, competitions, etc. to have liability insurance (and I have it for my non-horse/"real job" profession), but I have never known individual riders to carry a policy to protect against "what ifs". Thanks for the replies thus far!

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 26, 2008, 07:24 PM
if you live in a state which has the "equine liability law" signs, and I think most states have this law now, then you are judgment proof unless you are "grossly liable" an example of "gross liability" would be if you ordered the people into that field, and then you waived your arms and flashlight, etc.
so under the facts stated, and if you posted "the sign" you have no liability.
At one boarding barn I was at, the Bo put a student on a boarder's horse, a horse the owner was afraid to get on, and the horse deliberately flipped and broke the girl's femur. BO not liable.
the horse's owner should have paid for the hospital bills, but the doctor and nurse who owned the horse didn't. nasty people. horse later was sent to the trainer of evil horses up in middle georgia.
check with your ins. agent to add ins. for lawsuits.
just cause people cannot win, doesn't mean they won't sue.
and they might sue the owner of the horse if the horse was a boarder.
one of the main reasons that the equine liability laws have been passed by states is to prevent lawsuits over just the type case you have stated, where people do dumb things and get hurt.
good luck.. always stressful.
glad the girl will recover.
oops, I missed that you are a boarder. make sure you and others tell all NOT to ever give treats to your horses. This is why I don't oppose barns that ban treats. At all barns I've boarded at, altho they allowed treats for your own horses, they did not post a ban for giving treats to the horses of other boarders. I always tell people that they are not to give any treats to mine. One woman at a barn went out into the herd to give treats to horses, including her own and was bitten by a draftpony. My horses were taught by me not to go begging for treats, and when people want to give treats to them, I tell them they cannot eat sugar and starch.........which btw is true.

ThreeHorseNight
Jun. 26, 2008, 08:06 PM
if you live in a state which has the "equine liability law" signs, and I think most states have this law now, then you are judgment proof unless you are "grossly liable" an example of "gross liability" would be if you ordered the people into that field, and then you waived your arms and flashlight, etc.

The equine liability law in my state applies to professionals, and there is a very specific set of criteria in place to determine whether or not you are a professional. It covers the professional against damages caused by the "inherent risk" of the sport.

Care, custody, and control insurance applies to horses in your care (if you are a trainer, barn owner, etc.) -- it covers injuries or death to them. It does not cover injuries to people.

Commercial liability insurance covers the barn owners if they are sued by someone who is injured by a horse in their care, or have their property damaged. So these two types of insurance are not helpful to the average horseowner who boards her horse.

However, you, the horseowner, can get a liability policy that covers injury or damage caused by your horse. Here is one such policy:

http://www.equisportagency.com/individo.php

In this day and age, I'd be tempted to buy coverage like this. Anybody can sue you, whether or not you (or your horse) has done anything wrong. You'll note that the above-referenced policy pays the costs to defend you. As you can imagine, those costs can be hefty if you are sued, even if you are found not at fault.

If you are a USEF member, you automatically get 1 million dollars in liability coverage, but I don't know if this applies to a horse standing in a field (vs. injury caused when you are riding, for example).

The teenager who went to get her horse did a stupid thing, and I'm glad she'll recover. Whether it was her fault or not, that doesn't mean her parents can't decide to sue the owner of the horse who kicked her, the owner of the farm, the farm manager, etc. As a horse owner, it would be good to have insurance to cover such a situation.

lisagore
Jun. 26, 2008, 08:22 PM
I would definitely speak to a lawyer immediately. If there is the potential for litigation it may not come from the injured party or her parents but from her insurers ie medical, liability etc. The people who are involved might be the nicest people in the world but they may not have any say in whether or not there is litigation....it could originate from her health insurance company. As a barn owner and a 4H leader myself my thoughts and prayers are with you!:cry:

SR Rider
Jun. 26, 2008, 08:33 PM
I know that a boarder's horse ran through the septic field at a barn I was at; if I remember
correctly the boarder had insurance that covered that; another time someone's horse
kicked a new car at a clinic and the rider had insurance

everyone with a horse should have an umbrella policy for a million dollars about 125 dollars a year to cover excessive legal damages

HoneyB
Jun. 26, 2008, 08:42 PM
I know that a boarder's horse ran through the septic field at a barn I was at; if I remember
correctly the boarder had insurance that covered that; another time someone's horse
kicked a new car at a clinic and the rider had insurance

everyone with a horse should have an umbrella policy for a million dollars about 125 dollars a year to cover excessive legal damages

I am curious about umbrella policies. An agent tried to sell me one so I asked if it would provide liability coverage for my horse (boarded at a public barn). He quickly assured me the horse was covered. I didn't purchase the policy but asked another agent in the office about umbrella policies a few months later. She hesitated and told me a horse would be covered if "it is like a dog". I responded that I was pretty sure horses are considered "livestock" - not pets. She then checked into it, got back to me, and told me the horse would not be covered. This was Allstate. Since then I have seen several people post on this board saying that their umbrella policies cover their horses. I am curious if anyone has (a) found the opposite - that horses are not covered or (b) if told they are covered, actually checked into it. The whole incident has made me quite wary of insurance agents.

lstevenson
Jun. 26, 2008, 10:09 PM
I thought (but I could be wrong) that membership in the USEF gave you automatic personal liability coverage for things like that. Maybe that's changed?

rivenoak
Jun. 26, 2008, 11:15 PM
Having insured a horse for the first time in my life, I also purchased a liability policy alongside it. In this day & age, it's worth the peace of mind.

I've had a couple situations where things could have or did result in injury to someone else & I'm darned lucky I wasn't sued by their medical insurance company over it.

At this stage of life, with a few more assets, & people assuming that I've got more than I have, I do my best to protect them.

Carol Ames
Jun. 26, 2008, 11:49 PM
did i anyone else witness this?:confused: write up accident report:yes:; everything you can remember; :yes: names of the people involved;:yes:

oskaar
Jun. 27, 2008, 01:21 AM
Yikes! Oh Abby, I hope everyone's okay. I agree with everyone who has said you should consult a lawyer. As previously mentioned, you may not have to worry about a lawsuit from the family, but the insurance company could be a threat. A good friend of mine was injured by a loose horse at a show (I was on one side of her and another friend on the other--it was totally a freak thing and amazing that only one of us was hurt), but her insurance sued the show organizer for negligence.

I was also told (by a lawyer, at the barn where I kept Channel before I took him down there) that if, for instance, my horse got loose, ran out on the road, and caused a car accident, that I would be held liable and could, in the event of a death from said accident, be charged with manslaughter. (Always comforting when the barn manager lets the horse go from the barn to run down to his paddock. Also helpful for once perfectly well-mannered horse). Urban legend? I sure hope so.

Anyway, the point of that was that we can give you anecdotes all day long, but a lawyer well-versed in liability would be very helpful. I also agree that you should delete this immediately.

thumbsontop
Jun. 27, 2008, 03:20 AM
I'm so glad she'll be okay. What a terrible lesson to learn!

I will be looking into getting liability insurance for my horses.

As for the equine libility statutes, I have signs posted, but I don't depend on them. In this situation couldn't a lawyer easily argue that a sign wasn't visible?

bambam
Jun. 27, 2008, 09:04 AM
if you live in a state which has the "equine liability law" signs, and I think most states have this law now, then you are judgment proof unless you are "grossly liable"
I would never count solely on my state equine liability statute (there is very little in this world that qualifies as judgment proof). They are not all the same and some only cover certain types of pros and some only certain venues and some may cover everything but even then they are by no means a guarantee (1) that you will not get sued and even if you are successful incur lots of expenses getting rid of the suit or (2) that you will not lose- a non-horse-person's definition of negligence may not jibe with ours. But check your state's law and see if it even covers non pros.
Call your homeowners insurance co- some include liability for injuries caused by horses that are owned for personal use even if they are not kept at your property (mine does). You can get a liabiltiy from most horse insurers and if mine homeowners did not cover it, there is no way I would not have it. One lawsuit could easily bankrupt you even if you did nothing wrong.

ZELLA
Jun. 27, 2008, 09:50 AM
The scenario you describe is of an individual acting irresponsibly and getting hurt as a result. However, that won't prevent her (or family, or her health insurance company, as the case may be), from pursuing the barn owner and/or horse owner for settlement.

The barn owner should have commercial liability coverage to protect their business in such a situation. For the private horse owner, it could be more difficult.

You cannot count on homeowner's coverage to cover liability when horses are involved. Some will, but most WON'T provide coverage. Your agent might not even understand the personal liability coverage on a typical homeowner's policy well enough to say for sure. And in any case, it's up to the claims adjusters, not the agent, as to what would get settled. You should read your own personal liability insurance wording (drink coffee to stay awake) to be aware of what might not be covered.

The best protection for a non-commercial horse owner is a Personal Horse Owners Liability policy available through most horse insurance agents. It's relatively inexpensive and is designed specifically to protect you in such circumstances.

LSM1212
Jun. 27, 2008, 09:54 AM
I have liability insurance on my guy. Was only about an extra $100 a year. Covers me if he hurts someone on the property, at a show, or damages someones property either near the barn or at a show... etc. etc.

Figured it was worth it just in case.

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 27, 2008, 10:08 AM
Yikes! Oh Abby, I hope everyone's okay. I agree with everyone who has said you should consult a lawyer. As previously mentioned, you may not have to worry about a lawsuit from the family, but the insurance company could be a threat. A good friend of mine was injured by a loose horse at a show (I was on one side of her and another friend on the other--it was totally a freak thing and amazing that only one of us was hurt), but her insurance sued the show organizer for negligence.

I was also told (by a lawyer, at the barn where I kept Channel before I took him down there) that if, for instance, my horse got loose, ran out on the road, and caused a car accident, that I would be held liable and could, in the event of a death from said accident, be charged with manslaughter. (Always comforting when the barn manager lets the horse go from the barn to run down to his paddock. Also helpful for once perfectly well-mannered horse). Urban legend? I sure hope so.

Anyway, the point of that was that we can give you anecdotes all day long, but a lawyer well-versed in liability would be very helpful. I also agree that you should delete this immediately.

unfortunately, if the BO is negligent and your horse gets out on the road, you as the horse owner are liable for injuries to a driver. remember the threat on the drunken driver? but when you have a barn or a riding academy or even give lessons at home, you can buy the liability signs and post them prominently, and you are judgment proof, I didn't say they cannot sue you, but they won't win. and in some states, including this one georgia, if you sue w/o legal cause, the other party can sue you (counterclaim in the lawsuit) and get a judgment against you.
so if someone sues you, like the woman in calif who has lost 2 children to horse-related injuries, see another threat here on coth, then you could counterclaim and win.
you still have to hire lawyer and go thru all the hoops to answer, etc. but you can recoup your expenses in the end. just a lot of grief and anguish before you get it over.
your homeowner's policy may cover damages by your horse.
people sue even when they themselves are grossly negligent. so while it may be that you will win in the end, it is good for you to get all the ins that you can to try to cover all bases.
as for criminal charges? only if you were grossly negligent. and then probably not. but if you routinely allow your horses to graze loose in a barnyard with the gate open, and one gets hit by a car and all, maybe.
so don't trust BOs to know what is best. I once boarded where the hot wire was often not hot, and the BO's horses knocked it down anyway, even back in the woods, and I had to go out daily to put it up cause the BO diddn't even when I told me it was down, to protect my horses from getting out.
so BOs are very diligent about protecting everyone, some aren't.
in the op's case, the owner of the horse that kicked the girl needs to make sure that she has a copy of the barn rules saying no riding after 10pm, etc. and the BO needs to add new rule of no treats given to other horses.

lalahartma1
Jun. 27, 2008, 10:10 AM
Different states have different liability laws.

charismaryllis
Jun. 27, 2008, 01:31 PM
a day late on this, but if you haven't done so already--

call the insurance company
call the insurance company
call the insurance company

!

call any company that might have exposure. among other things, they often claim the right to defend, so be sure and let them know what happened.

lecoeurtriste
Jun. 27, 2008, 05:34 PM
Until this accident happened, I never considered the "damage" even a well-behaved horse could do...dent a car, nibble on a neighbor's tack in cramped show quarters, get loose on the road, bite little fingers stuck through stall doors that are indistinguishable from baby carrots...the list goes on and on! I can't help but think about the horse that got loose at the Pinehurst HT a few years ago and rampaged across some of the most famous fairways and greens in the southeast--the cost to repair the HUNDREDS of hoof divots on the golf course must have been astronomical! Without sounding like an advertisement, I say everyone should have a liability policy (after all, it's less than a tank of diesel!) :-)

thumbsontop
Jun. 27, 2008, 06:48 PM
So here's a follow on question then (without opening a spinoff thread)...

Should barn owners require all of their boarders to carry liability insurance for their horses?

After all, many of these personal injuries at the barn could be potentially blamed on the barn owner, if for no other reason than the barn owner is typically the one insured with a high amount of coverage. Why sue some individual that only owns a horse and an F150 with 3 years of payments left? Go for the BO with 2 mill dollars in liability insurance.

Ajierene
Jun. 27, 2008, 08:54 PM
I was also told (by a lawyer, at the barn where I kept Channel before I took him down there) that if, for instance, my horse got loose, ran out on the road, and caused a car accident, that I would be held liable and could, in the event of a death from said accident, be charged with manslaughter. (Always comforting when the barn manager lets the horse go from the barn to run down to his paddock. Also helpful for once perfectly well-mannered horse). Urban legend? I sure hope so.

It depends on the state. In Maryland, a recent court ruling awarded a man a total of $70K. The situation: Owners of horses, not a commercial facility, just some mostly retired horses kept in the backyard. After 20 years of horse ownership and care on the property without an incident, a horse got loose one night. A car going towards town saw the reflective marks on the horse's blanket. The car going away from town, being driven by an admittedly drunk man, did not see the horse. He hit the horse, then tried to drive home. He was found in the totaled car about a mile down the road.

After about two years of deliberations/suits - he was awarded about $40K for hospital bills and $30K for 'other' injuries. The owners did not have horse insurance and are understandably devastated.

Here's the article:
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080525/NEWS01/805250366/1006/NEWS

Evalee Hunter
Jun. 27, 2008, 09:06 PM
I thought (but I could be wrong) that membership in the USEF gave you automatic personal liability coverage for things like that. Maybe that's changed?

This has been discussed many, many times on various forums on this bulletin board. The USEF insurance is EXCESS insurance which, generally, comes into play ONLY AFTER other insurance is used up. Thus, if you do not have PRIMARY insurance, excess insurance will usually not pay anything.

Thomas_1
Jun. 27, 2008, 09:10 PM
I've got public liability insurance.

I've got rules posted all over and folks sign to say they've read and understood them.

I've a lawyer permanently retained (Well that's a bit of a fib! She's my wife! )

I'd likely be suing them or else preparing to counterclaim!

PangurBan
Jun. 27, 2008, 10:46 PM
Be careful. Get an attorney.
There was a case that finally cleared the courts in England about a year ago -- a young girl went to fetch her pony in the middle of the day from a paddock -- in the scrum at the gate, she was kicked, with catastophic injuries that will last her lifetime. The case took 10 years to work through the legal system, and at the end the court found for the plaintiff, hit the barn owners with a multi-million dollar settlement.
Standard procedure now for bringing horses out of paddocks involves at least two people, both wearing helmets and safety vests (which seems extreme to me, but it's not my child in the wheelchair for life)
So, good luck with this...

blackwly
Jun. 28, 2008, 05:37 PM
As a BO myself (and an MD- a suffix which inspires law suits like no other) I have a personal liability umbrella policy which would certainly cover an incident like that. Highly recommended for anyone really...it basically protects your assets from any of the strange accidental things which may take place around horses (or in your home, or walking down the street) and it is really not prohibitively expensive.

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 28, 2008, 05:51 PM
It depends on the state. In Maryland, a recent court ruling awarded a man a total of $70K. The situation: Owners of horses, not a commercial facility, just some mostly retired horses kept in the backyard. After 20 years of horse ownership and care on the property without an incident, a horse got loose one night. A car going towards town saw the reflective marks on the horse's blanket. The car going away from town, being driven by an admittedly drunk man, did not see the horse. He hit the horse, then tried to drive home. He was found in the totaled car about a mile down the road.

After about two years of deliberations/suits - he was awarded about $40K for hospital bills and $30K for 'other' injuries. The owners did not have horse insurance and are understandably devastated.

Here's the article:
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080525/NEWS01/805250366/1006/NEWS

and if Maryland has a dram shop law, the owners of the horse that was killed and the owners of the property it was pastured on should have interpleaded the owner of the bar (if the drunk driver/plaintiff was out drinking at a bar) or the person who furnished him the booze (if he was drinking at a friend's house and since he was out driving at night we can assume that he was drinking somewhere else than at home) and could have recovered not only the amt. they were forced to pay, but also attorney's fees and the value of the horse, etc. I just hope they had a good lawyer and did that. otherwise, it is too late. note to all: when hiring a lawyer, check our his/her won-loss record. everyone can check the courthouse. Good lawyers have those stats right at hand.

JSwan
Jun. 28, 2008, 05:51 PM
If my horse hurt someone the first call would be to my insurance company to notify them of a possible claim. (policies usually have language the requires you to work with them to mitigate a claim)

And I'd keep my mouth shut. Glued shut. And I'd document everything.

Our legal system is so screwed up it gives money to robbers who slip in fall while burgling your home. :no:

You can never have too much insurance.


cloudyandcalllie - since the defendants had no insurance; how much you wanna bet they were paying a local guy at an hourly rate. And no doubt the plaintiffs atty was a darn good PI lawyer.

Though I wonder if the guy will ever collect. Getting a judgment can be easy; collecting on it is another matter.

cloudyandcallie
Jun. 28, 2008, 06:00 PM
everyone is right to tell you to get liability ins.
and you can help keep from being sued, by teaching your horses not to rush or crowd at the gate (you can, if my horses, not alphas know to do it, anyone can as I am not a trainer) and teach your horses not to beg for treats. If someone walks up to mine, they will accept treats, but I tell people not to feed them. I've seen people walk out and feed treats to everyone's horses (except mine cause they knew I was looking) and once the BO where I used to board, when we were trying to keep one of her geldings from killing onne of her fillies, really savage attack in the herd, the BO turned and gave my horse some of his treats we were using to try to catch her gelding!!! and my horse was standing out of the line of attack. so everyone puts themselves and others in danger when they think of a herd of horses as sweet little angels, and don't realize those hooves can kill you. I've never had alpha horses or herd bosses, so I don't know if those horses just don't have manners or cannot be controlled, but you can try.
get ins.
if this was your horse that kicked the girl, see if your homeowner's ins will cover it, just check and report it to your ins co.
luckily this girl was not a minor and luckily she wasn't permanently disabled.

Flower's Girl
Jun. 30, 2008, 12:32 PM
The point we should all take from this, is that none of us should wait until our horse has hurt someone - insure now!

I'm not a lawyer either - but both my parents are, and I've heard their lectures for more than 20 years now! You never know what will happen in court, it is always better not to go (settle out of court or with insurance payment). No one is 'judgment proof' - no one, ever - it doesn't matter what signs you have posted or what documents you have had people sign - you CAN get taken to court and the other person CAN win. Every judge is different, and judges go against the norm all the time - it's called setting a precedence. That doesn't mean it is likely, but it is always possible. Remember that your case will be heard by a person/people who likely don't know about horses, and don't understand the inheret danger (sometimes even when it is explained to them!) - so forget what you or I consider 'normal' precautions.

If your barn manager lets the horses run in from the field and your horse runs out in traffic and someone is killed OF COURSE they can sue you. And a charge of manslaughter is indeed possible. Probably unlikely though, and they'd have trouble prooving it, doesn't mean it can't happen though. Expect anything and everything when you walk into a court room...

Of course, we can't all walk around worring about this happening all the time... and 90% of the time the injured person is ok and can look back and laugh at him/herself for the foolish act. But we shouldn't fool ourselves or hide behind the phrases 'it can't happen' or 'I have a sign so I'm safe'. Do the best you can and get insurance for the rest!

Having endured the lectures and having said all that - how much insurance do I currently have? None - MY sweet pony wouldn't hurt anyone! :eek: D'oh!

Flower's Girl
Jun. 30, 2008, 12:34 PM
Though I wonder if the guy will ever collect. Getting a judgment can be easy; collecting on it is another matter.

VERY TRUE!!!!

ybiaw
Jun. 30, 2008, 12:46 PM
So here's a follow on question then (without opening a spinoff thread)...

Should barn owners require all of their boarders to carry liability insurance for their horses?

After all, many of these personal injuries at the barn could be potentially blamed on the barn owner, if for no other reason than the barn owner is typically the one insured with a high amount of coverage. Why sue some individual that only owns a horse and an F150 with 3 years of payments left? Go for the BO with 2 mill dollars in liability insurance.

:yes: My barn requires it, I believe (though I haven't looked at a boarding contract in a while and should probably do so). They also require boarders and students to carry health insurance for themselves.

IronwoodFarm
Jun. 30, 2008, 01:20 PM
Let me preface this comment by stating that I have been a licensed insurance professional for over 30 years and specialize in defense of liability claims.

I am also a BO with a small group of boarders. As much as I like insurance, I would never, ever REQUIRE equine liability insurance much less health insurance for my boarders. It's not that I don't think having coverage is a VERY good idea, I just don't want the administrative nightmare of verifying if coverage is in effect. Simply having a boarder or a student sign a statement that he/she has a certain insurance policy is simply not enough. You need to get a copy of the declaration page of the policy to ascertain coverage. With health insurance, you are starting to tred in the murky area of HIPAA legislation. Health insurance policies have more personal information than I want to be responsible for keeping confidential. Many students are minors and insured by Mom & Dad. Do that means you get a copy of Mom & Dad's insurance policy?

Then there is the problem if the boarder or student lapses coverage? So what would the BO do, throw them out? What if the student can't get health insurance coverage? What if the boarder or student has only catastrophic coverage?

So, much as I wish that everyone has insurance, as a BO, the best move for everyone is that I carry commercial general liability coverage for my business. Certainly I encourage carrying individual equine liability cover and/or health insurance, but I don't require it. My gut reaction to a barn that does is a bad feeling that the BO has no commercial liability coveage him/herself and is trying to lay the risk off on someone else.

rabicon
Jun. 30, 2008, 03:55 PM
I was standing behind a friends horse to closely while she was riding and he bucked and well needless to say he hit me in the temple with his hoof. Knocked me loopy for a moment and I fell over and got right back up, finished helping her with riding and had my husband come follow me home. They convinced me to go to the ER (I'm a little hard headed) and they found nothing but insurance did send papers wanting to know if it was my fault or the fault of another. Of course I put it was my fault and my insurance paid for it but you never know what they may say and they may still come after you for deductibles. I'd talk with a lawyer asap.

Ajierene
Jun. 30, 2008, 06:20 PM
cloudyandcalllie - since the defendants had no insurance; how much you wanna bet they were paying a local guy at an hourly rate. And no doubt the plaintiffs atty was a darn good PI lawyer.

Though I wonder if the guy will ever collect. Getting a judgment can be easy; collecting on it is another matter.

As far as interpleaing anything, the person went to University of Delaware and at a party on/near campus - so he was in Delaware when he was drinking. Now you have two states and who belongs to who, etc. to deal with.

My friend sued her ex boyfriend for credit card debts and had tons of trouble collecting because on the books he didn't make any money - worked construction for cash only. Now that he went back into the Army she is starting to collect, but depending on where they get their money, the government might not be able to enforce the settlement.

CentreEquestre
Jun. 30, 2008, 06:26 PM
Last night at our barn, a teenage boarder (18-19 year old) brought two friends out to ride after 10pm. They didn't turn on any of the lights near either the paddock or the ring--and it was PITCH BLACK. When she went into the paddock to get her horse, the other two geldings in the field came to the gate to see/beg treats from her friends who remained outside. As she came back to the gate with her horse, her friends swung their flashlights around and she waved her arms to shoo the two beggars away (she was right behind the two loose horses--can you see where this is going?). Between the flashing lights and waving arms, one of the loose horses kicked out before turning to run away...he hit her square in the face! Long story short, she had to be airlifted to a trauma center (where she is expected to fully recover--thank goodness!).

While walking up directly behind a horse in the dead of night and waving your arms and flashlights doesn't seem to show much common sense, can the farm or individual horse owner be held responsible for her injuries? Our "barn rules" specify no riding after 10pm (even under the lights). After this happened, I checked both my equine and home owners insurance policies, and neither would seem to cover injuries caused by a horse (the home owners would if the horse were kept at home as a "pet"). Has anyone ever dealt with this before? Is there any special insurance horse owners should have to protect them when their horses share paddocks (i.e. don't have individual turnout)? It's the first time at our farm that someone has been injured by another person's horse (and in the paddock no less), and we're all shaken. Thanks for any insights!

there is a reason why most facilities say "Enter at own risk".

LKF
Jul. 1, 2008, 02:24 PM
I don't know if it has already been suggested, but I would go after them. Turn the tables on them and go to the police and issue a complaint against them for trespassing. It's not the kids you have to worry about, but the parents.