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Horse/Car Collisions


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Injuries to Children
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Liability Releases
Mounted Accidents
Sales & Contract Disputes
Wild Horses


This segment contains cases that deal with the legal liabilities that result when a horse escapes from its enclosure, goes onto a public highway, and collides with a motor vehicle.




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Nebraska Supreme Court (1993) Owner not liable
Wyoming Supreme Court (1993) Off-duty officer has no duty to remove horse from road
U.S. Court of Appeals (1993) U.S. not liable for BLM Mustangs on highway
Michigan Court of Appeals (1994) Horse owner may be liable for stopping traffic on highway
Nebraska Supreme Court (1994) Car damages fence, horse escapes and collides with car

California Court of Appeals (1994) Criminal liability for letting horse escape enclosure

Indiana Court of Appeals (1994) Horse owner not liable when horse escapes
Florida Court of Appeals (1994) Responsibility for wreck--employee or independent contractor?
Iowa Court of Appeals (1995) Owner not liable for breach in fence
Oklahoma Supreme Court (1995) Liability for negligently-maintained fence

Montana Supreme Court (1995) Open range law--legal fence?

New York Appellate Division (1995) No proof owner was negligent in letting nine horses escape
Florida Court of Appeals (1995) Policeman may be liable for injuries in chase of loose horse
Florida Supreme Court (1996) Car/cow collision; negligence standard; open range; fence laws
Maryland Court of Special Appeals (1996) Validity of local animal control ordinance

Illinois Appellate Court (1997) Owner must prove lack of fault regarding escape onto highway

Texas Court of Appeals (1997) Common law duty to keep horse off highway recognized
North Dakota Supreme Court (1997) No strict liability for collision outside grazing zone
Washington Court of Appeals (1997) Dog chases horse onto highway; prior incident
New York Appellate Division(1997) No negligence in unloading racehorse 20 feet from highway

Tennessee Court of Appeals (1998) Failure to comply with legal fence requirement
South Dakota Supreme Court(1998) Cattle owner not liable for livestock on country road
Ohio Court of Appeals (1998) Non-owner of horse on highway may be liable as "keeper"
Georgia Court of Appeals (1998) Landowner has no duty to keep horse off highway.
Colorado Court of Appeals (1998) Negligence in operation of snowplow.

Texas Supreme Court (1999)  No common law duty to keep horse off highway
New York Appellate Division (1999)  Permitting horse on highway negligent itself
Ohio Court of Appeals (1999) Owner strictly liable for crime of permitting horse on road
Florida Court of Appeals (1999) Owner not strictly liable for permitting horse on road
Louisiana Court of Appeals (1999) Owner liable for negligently permitting horse on road

South Dakota Supreme Court (1999) Owners were negligent in permitting horses onto highway
North Carolina Court of Appeals (1999) Pickup driver may be liable for striking horse being trail ridden
Texas Court of Appeals (1999) Court refuses to require owner of livestock to exercise more than due care
Idaho Supreme Court (1999) Statute gives immunity for livestock lawfully on a highway
Texas Court of Appeals (1999) City not liable for injury from bull escaping to interstate highway

Montana Supreme Court (2000) Not guilty of negligent homicide for leaving scene of collision with horse
Illinois Appellate Court (2000) Under animal at large statute, burden is on horse owner to prove due care
Montana Supreme Court (2000) Livestock owner owes duty to motorist even in open range
Texas Court of Appeals (2000) Cannot sue government for death from horse on highway
Delaware Superior Court (2001) Cannot consider lost winnings in injury to racehorse

Mississippi Court of Appeals (2001) Jury should consider fault between carriage and automobile drivers
Kansas Court of Appeals (2001) Dept. of Transportation not liable for escape of cow onto highway
Ohio Court of Appeals (2001) Negligent inspection and maintenance of fence requires trial in cow/car collision
Georgia Court of Appeals (2001) Owner may be liable when horse downs fence board to enter highway
Iowa Supreme Court (2001) Accident reconstruction evidence requires reversal of fatal buggy collision conviction

Texas Court of Appeals (2001) Landlord of leased pasture has no duty to keep lessee's  bull off highway
Kansas Attorney General (2001) Prohibition on permitting livestock to run at large is civil, not criminal
Mississippi Attorney General (2001) County may fine a landowner who fails to fence livestock off public roads
Kansas Supreme Court (2002)
State liable for injuries when cow escaped across a state-maintained fence
Missouri Court of Appeals (2002) Railroad may be liable for injuries from escape of horse through its fence

Louisiana Court of Appeals (2002) Owner may be liable for mysterious escape of horse and collision with car
Wyoming Supreme Court (2002)  Wyoming stands by the no duty in open range rule in car/cow collision case
Montana Supreme Court (2002) Owner of trespassing bull strictly liable for injury to capturer
U.S. Court of Appeals (2002) Tribal court had jurisdiction over lawsuit over  horse/car collision on BIA road on reservation
Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas (2002) Amish required to display slow moving vehicle reflection despite religious objections

Idaho Supreme Court (2002) Leaving the scene of collision with a horse does not violate leaving the scene statute
Connecticut Superior Court (2002) City officials may be liable for horse being on the public road
Montana Supreme Court (2002) Defense of assumption of risk not available in livestock trespass strict liability case
Delaware Supreme Court (2003) Conviction for reckless driving for collision with horse and buggy upheld
Louisiana Court of Appeals (2003) Burden on livestock owner to prove no negligence for stock law district accident

Ohio Court of Appeals (2003) Municipal park cannot be sued under sovereign immunity for horse/car collision
Connecticut Superior Court (2003) City officials are not liable for horse being on public road
Texas Court of Appeals (2003) Permitting cow on highway in violation of local stock law not negligence per se
U.S. District Court (2003) Cow/car collision may be covered by Illinois animals at large statute
Texas Court of Appeals (2003) Water company liable for deaths from collision with horse for not filling in hole

Texas Attorney General (2003) Cannot combine cattle and horses in same election for local option stock law district
Arkansas Court of Appeals (2003) Negligence fence maintenance may have permitted horse to escape to highway
Louisiana Court of Appeals (2004) Owner of cows not liable for injury to truck passengers because fence inspected
Illinois Appellate Court (2004) Comparative negligence applies to lawsuit under Domestic Animals Running at Large Act