Earlier this month, an appellate court in Montana issued an opinion in a personal injury case involving allegations that a horseback riding outfitter negligently provided a horse and saddle to the plaintiff, who was later injured while riding. The case is illustrative of how Maryland accident victims may have an easier time recovering damages for their injuries in these types of cases because Maryland has no statute limiting liability in horseback riding injury cases.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff arranged to go horseback riding through the defendant outfitter. The plaintiff called in advance and asked the outfitter to select a horse that was a good fit for him. The plaintiff told the outfitter that he was a little over six feet tall, was about 220 pounds, and had very little riding experience.
The outfitter chose a horse for the plaintiff and provided him with on-the-ground training before putting him on the horse. The outfitter also inspected the saddle but informed the plaintiff that the saddle could begin to slip, which is a normal occurrence. If the saddle started to slip, the plaintiff was supposed to notify the outfitter, who would be accompanying the plaintiff on the ride.
During the ride, the saddle began to slip, and the plaintiff fell from the horse. He later filed a personal injury case against the outfitter, claiming that the outfitter was negligent in inspecting the saddle. The plaintiff claimed that the outfitter never physically touched the saddle in his presence.
The court hearing the case dismissed the plaintiff’s claim under the state’s Equine Liability Act, which limited an outfitter’s liability to circumstances that were beyond the normal risks inherent in horseback riding. As a result, the plaintiff was not able to seek compensation for his injuries.
There Is No Equine Statute in Maryland
In Maryland, there is no equine statute that limits liability for outfitters, as was the case above. However, Maryland does have a general recreational use statute, which can preclude a landowner’s liability in some situations. Along those lines, Maryland has a very strict rule when it comes to which accident victims can recover for their injuries, limiting recovery to those who are found to be free of fault. Thus, while Maryland personal injury plaintiffs will not likely be precluded from recovering for their injuries based on the type of activity they are performing, they may be precluded from recovery if they are found to be even the slightest bit at fault for the accident causing their injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Maryland accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience assisting victims in a wide range of cases, including cases involving injuries sustained while engaging in pay-to-play activities, such as horseback riding, paintballing, and bungee jumping. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Court Dismisses Slip-and-Fall Case Based on Plaintiff’s Inability to Show that the Landowner Had Notice of Black Ice, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 8, 2017.
Settlement Agreements in Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuits, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 23, 2017.