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Boarding Stable Liability for an Injured Horse

When a boarding stable accepts a customer’s horse for care and keeping, the law generally imposes a duty on the stable to use reasonable care. Consequently, a stable could potentially be liable for a horse’s injury even if it had no real intention of harming a horse.

If a boarder wins a case against the stable, the stable might (depending on the facts and the applicable law) be ordered to pay:

  • If the horse died, the horse’s value plus any expenses that the owner may have incurred while attempting to bring the horse back to health, such as veterinary expenses or hauling fees.
  • If the horse lived but was injured, the amount of money that the horse decreased in value, plus reimbursement for the out of pocket expenses that the owner paid in bringing the horse mare back to health.  Depending on the circumstances, and where allowed by law, the owner might also seek the value of any lost foals or lost net earnings from races or shows.

Risk Management

Here are some preventative measures stables should consider:

Insurance

Insurance may not prevent problems from happening, but it could spare the stable of the burden of hiring a lawyer or settling disputes with the stable's own funds.  Care custody, or control insurance or a bailee legal liability policy is designed to protect the stable against claims involving horses that are injured while in the stable's care, custody, and control due to the stable's negligence.

Employee Training

Generally, employers are legally responsible for the negligent acts their employees commit on the job.

Boarding Contracts

Where allowed by law, stables can ask their customers to sign boarding contracts that include releases of liability.

Categories: Boarding, Liability

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is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.

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Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee

"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council

"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership

"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council

"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association

"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association 

What our Equine Law Services can Provide

Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.

Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).

Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.

Representing and advising insurers on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;

Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.

Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.

Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 

THE NATION'S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER EQUINE LAW SPEAKER

Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.

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