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Equine Law – “Believe it or Not” Surprises

Filed under: Current Articles,Editorial,Featured |     

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116 – September/October, 2022

By Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law · www.equinelaw.net

In the nearly 30 years that this lawyer has authored Equine Law articles in addition to her 4 books, not to mention a busy law practice, inquiries and legal matters have arisen from horse businesses and owners who have found themselves in legal hot water. This article shares some “believe it or not” principles of the law that may surprise you. By having a general understanding of the law and by planning ahead, you can help avoid legal disputes.

LIABILITY

Equine activity liability acts, though powerful in many states, are not “zero liability laws.” While most of the equine activity liability laws, now found in 48 states, typically provide that a “participant” who was injured while “engaging in an equine activity” cannot bring a claim or suit against an “equine activity professional, equine activity sponsor” and sometimes “another person” if the “participant” was injured as a result of an “inherent risk of equine activity,” these laws do not cover all liability in the horse industry. They typically have a list of exceptions. All of these laws differ. Read the laws where you live and do business.

A child who sustains an injury may still be permitted to file a lawsuit years later, after reaching the age of majority. It is a widely accepted legal principle that the typical statute of limitations (the time to file a lawsuit) for the claims of an injured minor begins to run when the minor reaches the age of majority (typically, age 18). Although the time may have run out for an adult to file a personal injury lawsuit, the time limit for a child’s lawsuit may be years away. This makes record-keeping and record retention for several years especially important.

STABLE LIABILITY INSURANCE

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116 – September/October, 2022

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