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Barn Owner Liability?

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  • Barn Owner Liability?

    Barn owner has been storing more and more crap (piles of concrete, rebar, trash, old boards, a large metal gate, farm equipment, etc) in the pasture where my horse is kept. Trash pile is not fenced off and is very assessable to the horses. I found one of the other boarders horses in quite a predicament last week because of it and it made me wonder if she would be liable for any injuries since she is not keeping the pasture safe for horses. I pretty much got my a$$ handed to me over the situation and for rescuing the horse. I did inform her and the horses owner about what happened and was told by BO that other horses were none of my business. OK, whatever?? Yes, she is a nut job and I am looking for a new place for my horse. It wouldn't be much too fence the crap piles off with steaks and hot wire, but that would take effort

    Arg, I am sick of boarding drama.

  • #2
    What's yer point?

    You discovered who the BO is, that's not acceptable to you and you are taking your business elsewhere.

    It seems to me that your question about who is liable doesn't matter. Also, you know that already because the BO handed your a$$ to you, told you to mind your own business and won't fence it. The BO sounds quite unreasonable. Anyone who discusses what is right and wrong with someone who has shown themselves to be unreasonable is spoiling for a fight they cannot win.
    The armchair saddler
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by mvp View Post
      What's yer point?

      You discovered who the BO is, that's not acceptable to you and you are taking your business elsewhere.

      It seems to me that your question about who is liable doesn't matter. Also, you know that already because the BO handed your a$$ to you, told you to mind your own business and won't fence it. The BO sounds quite unreasonable. Anyone who discusses what is right and wrong with someone who has shown themselves to be unreasonable is spoiling for a fight they cannot win.
      My point is, is a BO liable for injury if they cause an unsafe situation??? It does matter if a horse is injured in their care. The rest is for back story and insight into the crappy situation. Call it a vent if you want.

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      • #4
        In most rational people's minds she'd be liable but most rational people wouldn't put up with a pile of crap in their horse's pasture. From the way you describe her I also doubt your BO would be willing to accept responsibility for a horse getting injured on her junk pile.

        It all sounds like a potential Judge Judy episode...which way she would rule? Who the heck knows. On one hand BO should know better but on the other hand if the boarders know the crap is there and still keep their horse at that barn...one could argue they should shoulder some of the responsibility also.

        Good decision getting your horse out of there. You wouldn't want to end up on Judge Judy!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Riding4Fun View Post
          My point is, is a BO liable for injury if they cause an unsafe situation??? It does matter if a horse is injured in their care. The rest is for back story and insight into the crappy situation. Call it a vent if you want.
          Liable where and according to whom?

          Do you mean "If my horse gets hurt, could I sue and win?"

          My question is: Do you want to find out?
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Lol, had not thought of Judge Judy. Yes, I am smart enough to move my horse, and barn owner does know better, she says it is going to be taken care of, but never does anything. It had not been a problem before, there was one burn pile way in the back, but now there is more and more and more piling up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like negligence, but then again it depends on what the standards are in your area and the judge. I'd be working pretty diligently to find a new barn ASAP.

              I had to do it once, found a new barn and moved in 1 1/2 days. It can be done.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                Liable where and according to whom?

                Do you mean "If my horse gets hurt, could I sue and win?"

                My question is: Do you want to find out?
                Yup.

                As well, civil cases can drag on and cost money - and even if you win, you'd have to deal with trying to collect said money.

                Plus BO will argue that you were fully aware of the junk pile, and were happy to leave your horse in there (or unhappy, whatevs, but you didn't load it up and move once you became aware of the hazard).
                Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                  Liable where and according to whom?

                  Do you mean "If my horse gets hurt, could I sue and win?"

                  My question is: Do you want to find out?
                  While I do see your point, I am asking a question, not waiting until something happens. ;-)

                  I feel that I am paying for a service and in return expect a safe environment for my horse. If they put something unbeknownst to me in the pasture and my horse gets hurt, how could I have known prior to it being there that it could potentially harm my horse?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                    Sounds like negligence, but then again it depends on what the standards are in your area and the judge. I'd be working pretty diligently to find a new barn ASAP.

                    I had to do it once, found a new barn and moved in 1 1/2 days. It can be done.
                    Have my stall already picked out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Riding4fun sounds like the place I moved my horse from... The question of liability would be IMO (not a lawyer but a judge judy fan - and they seem to rule wacky when it come sto horses) that it could really go 2 ways. One the barn owner would be liable on the one hand because of the care, custody and control issue - you are entrusting the care of your horse to them, therefore they are responsible for its well being. However, if you have prior knowledge of a potential hazard then you also accept responsibility for putting your horse is a potential hazardous situation; I would take photos of the trash heap, and send the photos w/ your notice of leaving, I don't know if I'd give 30 days notice - not if there is no sign of them cleaning up or cordoning off the area.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would think that if your horse got hurt and you wanted the BO to pay you would have to take her to court. You'd then have to prove negligence, and you'd probably have to show evidence that you did things to mitigate the situation. As in, you wrote a letter/email to BO requesting your horse not use that pasture due to the dangerous conditions etc.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                          Sounds like negligence, but then again it depends on what the standards are in your area and the judge. I'd be working pretty diligently to find a new barn ASAP.

                          I had to do it once, found a new barn and moved in 1 1/2 days. It can be done.
                          It would be what would be expected of "Reasonable or Prudent" horseman ... storing trash in the pasture in most places is not desired... certainly not a professional horseman as they would provide a standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would expect to obtain.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Riding4Fun View Post
                            While I do see your point, I am asking a question, not waiting until something happens. ;-)

                            I feel that I am paying for a service and in return expect a safe environment for my horse. If they put something unbeknownst to me in the pasture and my horse gets hurt, how could I have known prior to it being there that it could potentially harm my horse?
                            And that's also my point: You walked in with an opinion couched in a rhetorical question. If you know the answer and are willing to defend it to all comers, what do you need we, your audience, for?

                            You are right. That is all.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GaitedGloryRider View Post
                              It all sounds like a potential Judge Judy episode...which way she would rule? Who the heck knows. On one hand BO should know better but on the other hand if the boarders know the crap is there and still keep their horse at that barn...one could argue they should shoulder some of the responsibility also.
                              This. While the BO sounds like a piece of work, people who continue to choose to board their horse there while being aware of the unsafe environment do shoulder some responsibility because the horse can't choose - humans choose for the horse.

                              I read a post on another BB by a woman who was boarding a horse at a farm that was shut down by local authorities - the horses weren't being fed or watered. This woman was also cited because she knowingly chose to board her horse there for a long period of time and said horse was in very poor condition...she was outraged-her rationale was that this neglectful farm was the only place she could afford to keep her horse so all responsibility should lie on the farm owners even though she admitted that she was aware of the conditions...sigh. Wonder what Judge Judy would have to say to HER...
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Riding4Fun View Post

                                I feel that I am paying for a service and in return expect a safe environment for my horse. If they put something unbeknownst to me in the pasture and my horse gets hurt, how could I have known prior to it being there that it could potentially harm my horse?
                                Well... you know now that there is junk out there, so at this point, I doubt you could collect anything if your horse got hurt. Really, it is highly unlikely you would ever be compensated. It would probably cost too much to pursue it, and even if you did win, some day, collecting $ is gonna be a whole other issue.

                                Sure the farm owner is liable, technically. But realistically, the technicality doesn't count for much. If someone OUTSIDE the farm got hurt (horse got loose and caused an 8 care pile up on a highway) then.... there could be hell to pay.

                                Otherwise, I think you'd be more or less out of luck.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I agree with most of what has been said. I didn't really come with an opinion, that is why I asked. Yes, there is frustration and anger on my side. Moving stinks, and what BO would think this practice was OK is beyond me. My side of the debate is closed since my horse is moving and no longer in the pasture.

                                  Again, I do expect horses to be taken care of and a safe environment be provided, that is what is paid for. Collecting of any money aside, I do think it is an interesting subject. A few of us moved to this place after the last boarding barn pulled up cross fencing and left the large post holes open and the horses out. Seems to be a trend, and the barns are not even in the same area :/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Now that you know the junk is there and you are still willing to allow your horse to go out there it is 100% your fault if your horse gets hurt there.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      No, the barn owner is not liable. In order to be liable they must be negligent. If you are willingly keeping your horse in this situation then you are the one being negligent, not the barn owner. You have had more than enough time to have the horse removed.

                                      If the barn owner through something in the field one day and your horse was injured before you could see it, then potentially yes, they could be liable. This is not the case however.
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