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WWYD, if sold a horse with undisclosed dangerous behavior?

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  • #41
    If the seller doesn't have the money "right now" and OP prevails legally, then I believe she would get a judgment of some kind??? I can't imagine that a judge will think, "oops - I spent the money" is relevant in any way. Once there are "official" legal documents, I think those can be posted on Rate My Horse Pro??? I'm not a lawyer, so not sure how that works.

    Regardless, and especially given that the seller is also apparently a breeder; I commend OP for pursuing this and trying to hold one bad apple accountable. The horse was represented as safe for kids and lessons, and it could have killed OP or a child or anybody. While I don't have kids, OP; I can imagine the fury you are feeling about being completely misled regarding a very dangerous horse. That's worth a lawsuit -- at the very least!

    *Every single time that I read about one of these trainwrecks, I always think, "how do they sleep at night"??? And, the thing that disturbs me the most is that I am certain that these awful people sleep BLISSFULLY and w/o a care for the damage they do. So, kudos to OP and anyone else who takes a stand.
    Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

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    • #42
      "I can understand horses not getting along under saddle with certain riders. But selling the horse as 'safe for any age child' when there is a long running history of dangerous behavior from the time she was a few days old is unethical and with the statements I have from the seller it steps over the line by anyone's standards."


      Hear hear! Many years ago I was riding horses for a family friend. He got in a new one, "safe for anyone to ride", so another friend and I went out to ride together (with the owner's permission). After riding, friend dropped the leadshank on new horse in the ring, so I approached to catch it. I remember that it was standing still, head and neck towards me and ears pricked. I don't remember much of the next few minutes because it spun and kicked me in the head, breaking my upper and lower jaw. My friend who witnessed said I avoided the first kick, but was nailed by a second one. I'm incredibly lucky that my injuries weren't worse.

      The thing is, afterward I found out that the family friend had been given the horse as it had already kicked several other people. Wish that I had known!

      Misrepresentation and incomplete representation are wrong and dangerous, IMHO.
      They don't call me frugal for nothing.
      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by BestHorses View Post
        You have to be careful with that. One person's fact is another person's libel.
        Agree - which is why you offer NO commentary/opinion on the breeder/seller or the history of the horse, but you can identify the horse by registered name & pedigree, you can document your own journey.
        OP has already engaged a lawyer whom I assume would weigh in.

        Do know someone that went through a similar situation, they chose litigation as they did not feel horse was safe to sell on: it was over a year before case was heard & settled, they did "win" & seller was forced to take the horse back & refund purchase price BUT horse was then just sold on to the next sucker (nothing changed in the horse's ad )

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        • Original Poster

          #44
          The trainer takes pride in reforming what others give up on. Contacting the trainer was my first move. I can't say any more about it with the lawsuit pending.

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          • #45
            I've heard of two cases where people bought dangerous horses that had been presented as solid packers. Unfortuneatly both lost their court cases. OP I hope you prevail.
            Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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            • #46
              I know of one case where a teenage boy was killed catching his horse in the field when it kicked him in the chest. After the funeral his mom found out that the horse had kicked before and it was not disclosed. She put the horse down, which is what the owner before should have done. Tragic case.
              Hindsight bad, foresight good.

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              • Original Poster

                #47
                It does concern me that this horse could end up injuring an unsuspecting rider if she ends up being returned. I know I wouldn't let it happen, but as we've seem too often horses are sold with undisclosed dangerous behaviors. It's a tough spot to be in and I do want a refund but at what cost? I have some tough decisions ahead and no easy answers. The best I can hope for is to return her, be refunded, and hope they decide to be more responsible with whatever decisions the seller ends up making for the future of this horse. I would hope a breeder would take that responsibility more seriously but clearly I've made the mistake of believing that before.

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                  It does concern me that this horse could end up injuring an unsuspecting rider if she ends up being returned. I know I wouldn't let it happen, but as we've seem too often horses are sold with undisclosed dangerous behaviors. It's a tough spot to be in and I do want a refund but at what cost? I have some tough decisions ahead and no easy answers. The best I can hope for is to return her, be refunded, and hope they decide to be more responsible with whatever decisions the seller ends up making for the future of this horse. I would hope a breeder would take that responsibility more seriously but clearly I've made the mistake of believing that before.
                  If you do get a Judgment in court, you can publicize its precise contents any way you like, so long as you do it accurately. "Here is the ad I responded to regarding Horse A sold by Seller X. Here is what the Court found: [insert judgment]." You can put that up anywhere without fear of her coming against you for slander/libel.

                  If you're suing under any kind of a consumer protection statute, the judge might remind the seller that she is required to follow the statute regarding future advertising of the horse. Hopefully her lawyer, if she gets one, will have already done this. Really, it's in her interest. It's a lot cheaper for her to give you your money back, than to be sued by someone for causing injury or death by false advertising (that would not be a criminal murder case, it would be a civil case).
                  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Easy-K...22998204542511
                  http://www.easykeeperfarm.com

                  I can ride my horses without a sharps container.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Damn. Seller has made it clear they do not want to work this out. No refund.

                    This brings me to a crossroads. Seek refund in court, or donate to the vet school. Litigation is long and drawn out, and upon her return she would be around for resale, potentially to a kid. Donation has a lot of positives, and we would know where she went but I would be walking away from my payment. Sigh, tough call.

                    The vet school did call today and they have a need for surgical teaching which is what I suspected she would be used for.

                    I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone. If you are reading take one word away from this. Before you buy, TRIAL. TRIAL. TRIAL.

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                    • #50
                      Ah, man! Win1, I am so sorry. Rock and a hard place it is, I guess. It's not very fair for you OR the horse, but it's necessary. I don't even know what direction I would end up going!

                      I know it's always been this way, to an extent, but it always angers me that there are such unscrupulous and dishonest breeder/sellers out there!
                      "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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                      • #51
                        How was the horse when you tried her? You saw no problems when you tried her out, but she did a 180 when at your barn?
                        Did you get results from the drug screen?
                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                        • #52
                          I would sue the pants off this seller. She is calling your bluff. Too many of this type of sellers get away with this type of situation.

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                          • #53
                            I sure as hell hope you can, with legal okay, post her name, her "safe for any kid" written assessment, and a screen shot of the blog so this crappy behavior follows her.
                            Hindsight bad, foresight good.

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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
                              I wouldn't recommend donating her to anywhere. Why put other people, esp people who are not horse savy, at risk of being injured by this horse? When you donate a hores to a program, remember that it is the non-horesy people that have to deal with the horse.
                              As for donating her to a vet school..why? What are they going to do with her if she is dangerous? They can't risk having students who can barely spell horse get hurt by her when handling her. ANd even if students dont' interact with her, staff will have to. And vet school staff are not horse experienced horse trainers, ie prob less experienced than you are. So other than them euthanizing her, there is nothing they can safely do with her either. And donating a horse to be euthanized is not a reason for donation.

                              Just my 2 cents.
                              Had a friend who donated a horse to Purdue. He got off the trailer, walked to surgery and they never woke him up. I don't think she will hurt anyone if donated.
                              Lilykoi


                              Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

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                              • #55
                                I hope you will follow through with your lawsuit. It is unbelievable to me that someone would represent that a horse can safely be handled by a child when they know the horse has chronic behavior that could potentially kill a child (or anyone). This is a person with no morals whatsoever, and they need to have their reputation ruined and be put out of business. With affirmative misrepresentations, the "as is" language should not make a difference. Make sure your lawyer gets witness statements to attest to the horse's dangerous behavior as soon as you brought it home. Good luck to your attorney. In general I don't favor suing people willy-nilly because it is a tough process, but I am just outraged by this person's willingness to put other people's (especially kids') lives at risk.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  Yes, I did try the horse and there were slightly fussy behaviors but nothing horrible. I was told it was due to the loose ring bit she was wearing being too small and that she needed her teeth done. I did not ask much of her, given this "discomfort" seeming to cause the minor issues. Her teeth were done and appropriate bits were fitted and tried, she continued to get worse.

                                  What I was not told was that she had just been picked up from the trainer (for the second time) days before I tried her. I was told she was on lease, but owner later slipped (after the sale) and it came out she was there for training. Last spring was when the behaviors were documented by the trainer, she went home in May somewhat improved but was sent back to this trainer months later (october) and brought home again apparently for me to look at her. I purchased her within 2 weeks of her return, and from what I can tell history is repeating itself as she continues to revert to old behaviors.
                                  Last edited by Win1; Apr. 29, 2013, 08:09 PM.

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                                  • #57
                                    I would proceed with a lawsuit, myself. If your attorney can figure out how to get it out of contract and into tort, you can seek punitive damages of 3 times the value of your damages.

                                    What I would do (and ask your lawyer to be sure this makes good sense) is get a couple of expert opinions that the horse will never be safe as a riding horse or around children or for children. Then get an expert opinion that euthanasia is the best opinion for a dangerous horse. Then have said horse euthanasized and go after the seller for all damages. Although I'm not certain, there may be a tort for fraud in KY. You have up to three years in MOST states (don't know about KY) for all this to wash out. You'll need to pay for a COMPLETE physical examination, so you'll know if it is physical or mental.

                                    You will, of course, be in much better shape legally if the blood comes back positive for any substance with tranquilizing properties.

                                    But you can still go against the seller if the horse has to be euthanized.
                                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                    Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                    • #58
                                      I'm a lawyer but not an equine specialist or anything like that. If it was me, I'd donate the horse and move on. Personally, I don't find litigation to be worth it financially. And you will not be teaching this person a lesson either way. So I would look to cut my loses quickly. This is NOT legal advice....just my own personal feeling.

                                      I really feel bad for the horse. It really sounds like there is a physical issue. But you were looking for a kid safe horse...and this isn't it. I wouldn't want the liability of selling the horse on so unless you want to work to really find out her issues (which I would bet are physical) donating with full disclosure to a vet school is probably best or putting the horse down yourself.

                                      Sorry this person scammed you. If there is a better business bureau you can report them but nothing will likely come of it. But for me personally, the cost of litigation (mentally, emotional and financial) is just not worth it. And with and "as is" sale contract and involving horses (which most judges do not get) you have more of an up hill legal battle.

                                      Good luck. Talk to your lawyer and make the most educated choice for YOU. Try to take emotion out of the decision.
                                      Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Apr. 29, 2013, 09:43 PM. Reason: typo--my "t" key isn't working well!
                                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                      • #59
                                        I was contemplating a lawsuit several years ago. Not horse related but it involved a type of fraudulent representation. My attorney gave me similar advice. He said that litigating would be expensive, that even though I had a strong case I might not win, and even if I won, I probably couldn't collect.

                                        I had to really step back from the situation and look at it analytically which was hard because I was very emotional about it.

                                        Good luck with whatever you decide. I would be madder than a wet hen if I were in your shoes and completely understand not wanting to send the horse back knowing it could be sold on again.

                                        Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                        I'm a lawyer but not an equine specialist or anything like that. If it was me, I'd donate the horse and move on. Personally, I don't find litigation to be worth it financially. And you will not be teaching this person a lesson either way. So I would look to cut my loses quickly. This is NOT legal advice....just my own personal feeling.

                                        I really feel bad for the horse. It really sounds like there is a physical issue. But you were looking for a kid safe horse...and this isn't it. I wouldn't want the liability of selling the horse on so unless you want to work to really find out her issues (which I would bet are physical) donating with full disclosure to a vet school is probably best or putting the horse down yourself.

                                        Sorry this person scammed you. If there is a better business bureau you can report them but nothing will likely come of it. But for me personally, the cost of litigation (mentally, emotional and financial) is just no worth it. And with and "as is" sale contract and involving horses (which most judges do not get) you have more of an up hill legal battle.

                                        Good luck. Talk to your lawyer and make the most educated choice for YOU. Try to take emotion out of the decision.
                                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                                        • #60
                                          This is the problem with the American system. In GB and other countries, the winning party gets attorney fees and costs as part of the damages.

                                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                          I'm a lawyer but not an equine specialist or anything like that. If it was me, I'd donate the horse and move on. Personally, I don't find litigation to be worth it financially. And you will not be teaching this person a lesson either way. So I would look to cut my loses quickly. This is NOT legal advice....just my own personal feeling.

                                          I really feel bad for the horse. It really sounds like there is a physical issue. But you were looking for a kid safe horse...and this isn't it. I wouldn't want the liability of selling the horse on so unless you want to work to really find out her issues (which I would bet are physical) donating with full disclosure to a vet school is probably best or putting the horse down yourself.

                                          Sorry this person scammed you. If there is a better business bureau you can report them but nothing will likely come of it. But for me personally, the cost of litigation (mentally, emotional and financial) is just no worth it. And with and "as is" sale contract and involving horses (which most judges do not get) you have more of an up hill legal battle.

                                          Good luck. Talk to your lawyer and make the most educated choice for YOU. Try to take emotion out of the decision.
                                          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                          Thread killer Extraordinaire

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