Do Fences Make Good Neighbors?
In between your property and an outlying roadway is a fence that supposedly confines your horse. Even if the fence is electrified, would you still consider this a 100% guarantee that your horse or passersby will always be protected? Or put another way, would you think that every time a car drives past your place, you could be on the receiving end of a lawsuit? Unfortunately, this scenario was an expensive lesson for one horse owner to learn. A $2 million lesson.
When a horse escaped from the pasture that was surrounded by an electrical fence and ventured onto the road, it collided with a passing car. Sadly, the passenger, an 18-year-old student, suffered a head injury that led to his blindness.
Both the horse owner and the fence manufacturer were hit with a lawsuit. The student argued that the owners should have known that the fence wasn't strong enough to keep the horse contained. He also maintained that the manufacturers should have warning labels on their fences.
The case was settled before it went to a jury trial. The horse owners paid out $2 million. The fence manufacturer, who insisted that the fence wasn't installed properly, settled for $190,000.
Before such a predicament involves you and your horse, be sure you are covered. Markel can protect you with our own Private Horse Owner Liability Policy.