Equine Activity Liability Acts Impact Contracts
As of April 2012, 46 states (all but California, New York, Nevada, and Maryland) have passed laws that are designed to limit or control liability involving equines and equine activities. In many states, these laws have created an important fine point for horse-related contracts. Several of the laws require special language in certain equine-related contracts or releases.
The state-by-state requirements, based on equine activity liability law differences, can vary considerably. For example, Ohio’s law requires a statement of inherent risks in certain contracts:
INHERENT RISK OF AN EQUINE ACTIVITY” MEANS A DANGER OR CONDITION THAT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF AN EQUINE ACTIVITY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- THE PROPENSITY OF AN EQUINE TO BEHAVE IN WAYS THAT MAY RESULT IN INJURY, DEATH, OR LOSS TO PERSONS ON OR AROUND THE EQUINE;
- THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF AN EQUINE’S REACTION TO SOUNDS, SUDDEN MOVEMENT, UNFAMILIAR OBJECTS, PERSONS, OR OTHER ANIMALS;
- HAZARDS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SURFACE OR SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS;
- COLLISION WITH ANOTHER EQUINE, ANOTHER ANIMAL, A PERSON, OR AN OBJECT;
- THE POTENTIAL OF AN EQUINE ACTIVITY PARTICIPANT TO ACT IN A NEGLIGENT MANNER THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO INJURY, DEATH, OR LOSS TO THE PERSON OF THE PARTICIPANT OR TO OTHER PERSONS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FAILING TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER AN EQUINE OR FAILING TO ACT WITHIN THE ABILITY OF THE PARTICIPANT.
Michigan’s law, by comparison, requires “equine professionals” (as defined in the law) to include the following language in their contracts for services:
Under the Michigan equine activity liability act, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in an equine activity resulting from an inherent risk of the equine activity.
Discuss these and other provisions of contracts with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Julie Fershtman 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.View All Posts by Author ›
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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.
Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:
National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants.
U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability.
IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”
National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics.
Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”
2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”
November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”
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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