$2.36 M awarded to boy kicked by horse during inner-city youth programPosted: November 26, 2009
A Philadelphia jury has awarded $$2.36 million to a boy in an inner city program which “involved” youth in horseback riding and polo matches. The defendant was a well known local group called Work To Ride Inc.
The boy was kicked by the horse as it was being loaded into a trailer. The horse struck the youth in the face breaking his jaw and causing other injuries. The jury found the non-profit was 90% liable and the total award was reduced by 10% for the youth’s percentage of fault.
One issue here that appears a lot in cases like this is the discrepancy of knowledge between those who are used to wild things and those who are not.
If you grew up on a farm you know horses kick. If you grew up in a big city you expect that someone who is taking your children to do something with them will take them to a safe place to do safe things. You probably don’t know that horses kick.
Consequently when a horse kicks your son, you are going to be mad. People don’t let their children do dangerous things. Consequently when something a parent thought was safe turns out to be dangerous someone is mad. Mad equals lawsuit.
My other concern is the program in general. What long term skills or experience is someone from the inner city going to have by learning to ride a horse?