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Get Injured Helping Someone at a Horse Show - Court Says Too Bad

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  • Get Injured Helping Someone at a Horse Show - Court Says Too Bad

    If you are a specatator at a horse show, you might want to think twice before rushing in to help someone in trouble, according to this court case.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/O...im-4096611.php

    Excerpt:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman severely injured when she went to the aid of a horse owner in danger of being trampled met the legal definition of a "spectator" at a horse-related event and thus cannot sue for damages, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    More to the point, if you, of your own accord, without a request from the handler,attempt to handle a horse that you have already observed is not well-mannered, it isn't the handler's fault when you, too, get hurt.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

    Comment


    • #3
      In general, if I were a spectator at a horse show, I'd think twice about getting up close and personal with a spooked or unruly horse I didn't know. If you help someone in that situation, you putting yourself at risk. If you pull someone out of a burning car, are you going to sue them because you got burned?
      Visit my Spoonflower shop

      Comment


      • #4
        IMO, when you handle an unruly or spooky horse, you should go into the situation knowing that you could get hurt. I can certainly feel badly that this woman got hurt, but she put herself in the situation by getting out of her car.
        ~Rest in Peace Woody...1975-2008~

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like the only people who are going to win at the end of this are the lawyers. Geez.

          Comment


          • #6
            This is where the Equine Inherant Liability Law comes into play (If I spelled that correct). Essentially, you agree that attending or participating in any equine related event that you accept there is inherant risk and choose to proceed anyways, therefore, you're waiving the liability.
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

            Comment


            • #7
              I might "think twice" about helping if I thought I wasn't qualified enough for that situation or that there were more experienced people already running to help, but I would not "think twice" in that I'd be thinking I can't sue the person with the problem in case I got hurt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad to see the courts actually used their heads in that case. There is a reason I make everyone sign a release just to come past the gate, have insurance, and have the WI Liability signs posted. Because at some point someone is going to decide that it is easier to sue then just except the fact sh** happens.

                And not everyone can always arrange to have help unloading horses, loading, etc. She has a horse person should have known that there was a chance for her to get hurt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry she got hurt, but I don't get how you can go from trying to help somebody... to then trying to sue that same person because you got hurt trying to help them. Kinda cancels out any "good samaritan" intention you had. Sometimes things just happen and it's nobody's fault, and that just seems really crummy to me she tried to sue.
                  *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heh. Lawsuit was the last thing on my mind when that horse was trapped upside down in the trailer. But I got several really good views of hoof anatomy....
                    Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
                    http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shiningwizard255 View Post
                      Sorry she got hurt, but I don't get how you can go from trying to help somebody... to then trying to sue that same person because you got hurt trying to help them. Kinda cancels out any "good samaritan" intention you had. Sometimes things just happen and it's nobody's fault, and that just seems really crummy to me she tried to sue.
                      I don't know about the particulars of this case, but many times the decision to sue is not the choice of the individual involved but rather that of an insurance company attempting to recover their costs. Every time I file a claim with my health insurance, I have to indicate whether or not the claim is related to injuries from an accident and if so, I have to detail exactly what happened.

                      I might not want to sue my neighbor, whose porch I fell off, breaking my arm, but you can bet my health insurance company will attempt to shift the costs to his homeowner's insurance or him, and if the cost of my medical care is high enough, they may well go as far as filing a lawsuit.
                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                      that's even remotely true."

                      Homer Simpson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                        I don't know about the particulars of this case, but many times the decision to sue is not the choice of the individual involved but rather that of an insurance company attempting to recover their costs. Every time I file a claim with my health insurance, I have to indicate whether or not the claim is related to injuries from an accident and if so, I have to detail exactly what happened.

                        I might not want to sue my neighbor, whose porch I fell off, breaking my arm, but you can bet my health insurance company will attempt to shift the costs to his homeowner's insurance or him, and if the cost of my medical care is high enough, they may well go as far as filing a lawsuit.
                        Good point.
                        *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Except the article says "her" lawsuit, not the insurance company's.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                            I don't know about the particulars of this case, but many times the decision to sue is not the choice of the individual involved but rather that of an insurance company attempting to recover their costs. Every time I file a claim with my health insurance, I have to indicate whether or not the claim is related to injuries from an accident and if so, I have to detail exactly what happened.

                            I might not want to sue my neighbor, whose porch I fell off, breaking my arm, but you can bet my health insurance company will attempt to shift the costs to his homeowner's insurance or him, and if the cost of my medical care is high enough, they may well go as far as filing a lawsuit.
                            While I understand this, you don't HAVE to tell all the details of where, etc. I was injured twice at the private farm where I self-care board. I got the traditional "Spanish Inquisition" form from my insurance company. I simply replied back "Self induced injury" and mailed it back with other spaces left blank. There's NO WAY on God's green earth I'm gonna say it was Mrs. B. G's farm at 123 Main St and have them go after her/her insurance.
                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's not like the owner asked her to help. SHE made the decision to jump in. No, the horse owner shouldn't be sued because someone else decided to jump in without permission/knowing the horse. Really, it's just wrong to sue someone for the consequences of your own actions. ALL horses can spook. My guy lost it last night when one of the babies in the arena spooked. Had I gotten hurt, last thing on my mind would have been suing the rider on the greenie.

                              They're animals, no matter how well trained they are, sh!t happens. Loading/unloading is inherently dangerous. I'm glad the courts didn't uphold her lawsuit, because that would place all of us in a pretty bad spot. What I can't figure out is why courts usually insist on rewarding people for their own stupidity, and punishing the victim.
                              Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Rightly decided.
                                Equine Limited Liability Laws (ELLAs) are enacted as a policy decision, to protect the equine industry. IOW, the legislators have decided it is more important to protect the horse industry from lawsuits than to safeguard the rights of individuals who may be hurt. The court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the legislature on matters of public policy (unless some constitutional issue is involved, which of course it isn't here).
                                Without this policy, as we all know, horse people would be getting sued right and left because horses are inherently risky, and the horse industry would be unable to survive.
                                Sometimes, that policy makes for sad results for some individuals. But I don't think this is one of those times.
                                Smith was on her day off in 2007 when she stopped by a horse stables at the Wayne County fairgrounds where she worked for her father, a horse trainer, according to court records. She was kicked in the face by a horse when she went to help the animal's owner who she noticed had been knocked down and was in danger of being trampled, records say.
                                Certainly as an equine professional herself Ms. Smith could appreciate the nature and quality of the risk she chose to encounter. Which would also be a defense at trial.
                                But it sounds like this case never got to a jury. I imagine the trial judge gave summary judgment to defendant, and the appeals court reversed. The Ohio Supremes got it right though.
                                I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by shiningwizard255 View Post
                                  Sorry she got hurt, but I don't get how you can go from trying to help somebody... to then trying to sue that same person because you got hurt trying to help them. Kinda cancels out any "good samaritan" intention you had. Sometimes things just happen and it's nobody's fault, and that just seems really crummy to me she tried to sue.
                                  $50K in medical bills might do it.

                                  But the complaining lawyer was right: This ruling means we should stand back and watch someone get trampled rather than help.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                    $50K in medical bills might do it.

                                    But the complaining lawyer was right: This ruling means we should stand back and watch someone get trampled rather than help.
                                    Then the remedy is to repeal the ELLA?
                                    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      But the complaining lawyer was right: This ruling means we should stand back and watch someone get trampled rather than help.
                                      And then what? If I'm overfaced/in need of help, do I start turning people down because it's better for me to get trampled than risk them suing me?

                                      At some point, there has to be personal responsibility. If you walk into a risky situation, be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you aren't prepared for that, avoid the risk.

                                      Or we can just start calling our insurance companies before we take action of any sort, to make sure someone else will pay if things go wrong.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                                        I don't know about the particulars of this case, but many times the decision to sue is not the choice of the individual involved but rather that of an insurance company attempting to recover their costs. Every time I file a claim with my health insurance, I have to indicate whether or not the claim is related to injuries from an accident and if so, I have to detail exactly what happened.

                                        I might not want to sue my neighbor, whose porch I fell off, breaking my arm, but you can bet my health insurance company will attempt to shift the costs to his homeowner's insurance or him, and if the cost of my medical care is high enough, they may well go as far as filing a lawsuit.
                                        THIS. My boyfriend has a herniated disc after being injured in a car accident 10 years ago. He made the mistake of mentioning to the doctor that it had started causing him pain a few months ago but really started acting up after increasing the intensity of his martial arts training. Shortly after the insurance company called and tried to get all kinds of details out of him about where he trains, who his teacher is, etc to no doubt try and pass the blame onto them. He just said he trains on his own in the garage as his condition was in no way caused by his school.

                                        On the very few occasions I've had to see a doctor for minor horse-related injuries I'm extremely careful to be vague as I know how they handle these things and I would never want them to come down on someone I care about.

                                        Comment

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