Freeman v Higher Park Farm: CA 30 Oct 2008

The claimant fell from a horse hired to her by the defendant. She claimed for her injuries, and appealed rejection of her claim in strict liability under the 1971 Act. The horse was known to be lively and occasionally to buck, but the claimant was a very experienced rider. A horse was a domesticated animal within the 1971 Act, and therefore the claimant had to show the presence of characteristics which would not normally be present, and that these were known to the defendant.
Held: The judge should have asked whether the injury likely to result from a fall was severe. It will be. However the claimant had not established that a propensity to buck was abnormal in a horse, and therefore her claim failed. The claimant was informed of the characteristic, and went ahead nonetheless and was therefore a volunteer and could not claim in negligence.

Tuckey LJ, Smith LJ, Etherton LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1185, [2009] PIQR P6
Animals Act 1971 2(2)
England and Wales
CitedMirvahedy v Henley and another HL 20-Mar-2003
The defendants’ horses escaped from the field, and were involved in an accident with the claimant’s car.
Held: The defendants were liable under section 2(2). To bolt was a characteristic of horses which was normal ‘in the particular . .
CitedClark v Bowlt CA 26-Jun-2006
A claim was made for personal injury suffered riding a horse.
Held: The court doubted whether a propensity occasionally to move otherwise than as directed can be described as a characteristic of a horse, for the purposes of s. 2(2)(b), but, if . .
CitedWelsh v Stokes and Another CA 27-Jul-2007
The claimant sued a riding stables after she was badly injured on being thrown from the horse provided. Her claim in negligence failed, but she succeeded under strict liabiilty under the 1971 Act, after the judge relied upon hearsay evidence.
CitedCummings v Grainger CA 1977
An untrained Alsatian dog was turned loose in a scrap-yard to deter intruders. The dog seriously injured the plaintiff who had entered the yard.
Held: The requirements of section 2(2) were satisfied but the defendant was entitled to rely upon . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Animals, Negligence

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.277358