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Third District Holds Ranch Immune from Horse Bite Claim under Equine Activities Liability Act

August 26, 2016

A former licensed jockey was bitten by a horse while visiting a ranch in Ocala.  He sued the owners of the ranch, alleging negligence.  The owners of the ranch responded that Florida's Equine Activities Liability Act (codified in chapter 773 of the Florida Statutes), immunized them from suit.  The Third District agreed, noting that "the Act's general intent is to limit the liability of Florida's equine facilities for injuries resulting from inherent risks associated with equine activities" and that "[t]o effectuate this intent, the Legislature broadly defined those activities constituting an equine activity."  Specifically, the court concluded that the former jockey was a "participant in equine activity" within the meaning of the Act's immunity provision, found in section 773.02, and that therefore the ranch was immunized from his personal injury claim.

 

Read the full opinion here:

Germer v. Churchill Downs Mgmt., 3D14-2695, 2016 WL 3711974 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016).

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