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Liability for Stray Livestock on Public Highways

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Horses, mules, asses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, or domestic geese ... or animals of the species of horse, mule, ass, cattle, swine, sheep or goat, in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Liability for Stray Livestock on Public Highways


1
Liability for Stray Livestock on Public Highways
  • Presumption of negligence if ownership is proven
  • This means the Plaintiff has an easier case, as
    now it is the Defendant (rancher) who is
    negligent unless he is able to convince 9 or
    more of the jurors that his livestock escaped
    even though he was non-negligent
  • How to prove non-negligence?
  • Show that your fences are strong, adequate to
    restrain livestock
  • Show that your livestock have not escaped before,
    or seldom
  • Show that you regularly check your livestock and
    fences
  • Show that you promptly recapture escaped
    livestock after knowing or being told they are
    out of their enclosure

2
Liability for Livestock Trespass
  • Exterior Fence Strict Liability
  • Possible Defenses Force Majeure (act of God),
    or the intervening negligence of a third party
    like a vehicle crashing through a livestock fence
    and the animals escaping onto the road where
    another vehicle collides with the animal
  • Division Fence Liable for actual damages if
    livestock enters over portion in need of repair
    andlandowner/tenant had a duty to maintain that
    portion

3
Defenses for the Livestock Owner
  • Due Care in Herding Along Highway
  • Determined by the jury
  • Act of God (force majeure)
  • That an uncontrollable and intervening event,
    such as a storm, caused the livestock to get out
    even though the rancher had adequate fences
  • Comparative Fault
  • That the driver of a vehicle colliding with
    livestock was negligent
  • Due Care Lacking by the Person Restraining Strays

4
Remedies for LivestockRunning at Large
  • Written notice to livestock owner w/in 3 days
  • Missouri Statutes, Chapter 270.010
  • Notice should also include costs of upkeep
  • Horses, mules, asses, cattle, swine, sheep,
    goats, or domestic geese
  • Does NOT include chickens, dogs, cats

5
OGara v. Kane(Illinois, 1976)
  • It shall be unlawful for any
    horse to run at large in the State of
    Illinois Provided, that no owner or keeper of
    such animals shall be liable for damages in any
    civil suit for injury to the person or property
    of another caused by the running at large
    thereof, without the knowledge of such owner or
    keeper, when such owner or keeper can establish
    that he used reasonable care in restraining such
    animals from so running at large.
  • 1931 Illinois Statute, Chapter 8, Section 1

6
Livestock Running At LargeMissouri Statute,
Chapter 270.010 (1939)
  • It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal
    or animals of the species of horse, mule, ass,
    cattle, swine, sheep or goat, in this state, to
    permit the same to run at large outside the
    enclosure of the owner of such stock,, provided,
    that said owner shall not be responsible for any
    accident on a public road or highway . . . IF he
    establishes the fact that the said animal or
    animals were outside the enclosure through no
    fault or negligence of the owner.
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