Indiana Court Rejects Premises Liability Claim in Horse Racing Injury Case

To many, playing sports is more than just a recreational pastime. However, when someone gets hurt playing on an unsafe field, the injury can often be severe. Property owners, including those who own a sports field, have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for people to practice and play on. When an individual is injured on another’s property, the injured party can bring a premise liability claim against the owner. In Indiana, an owner is liable for physical harm caused to a person invited onto his land if: (a) he knows his land is unreasonably dangerous; (b) the person would not likely realize the danger or fail to protect themselves from it; (c) he fails to attempt to protect them from the danger.

In a recent opinion, a state appellate court discussed whether the owner of a horse racing track could be held liable under premises liability theory after the plaintiff was injured while riding a horse on the track. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff could not raise a successful premises liability claim because he should have anticipated the risk that comes with horse racing.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured as he was exercising his horse on the track. Evidently, a jockey lost control of his horse and it collided with the plaintiff, who was thrown to the ground and injured. The plaintiff brought a premises liability claim against the owners of the race track, arguing that the racetrack owner owed him a duty to keep him safe and that the condition at the racetrack caused his injuries.

In a previous case, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded that when participating in a sport, an individual should recognize there are inherent risks and take the necessary precautions to prevent injury. In this case, the court held that the plaintiff should have recognized that horse racing is often risky, and that there was a chance he could fall off his horse or that another horse could get loose. The court concluded the race track owner was reasonable to expect the plaintiff would realize the dangers of horse racing, and therefore the plaintiff’s claim was not permitted to proceed towards trial or settlement negotiations.

Because premises liability cases can often be very complicated, depending on the activity and the expectations of safety that come with it, potential plaintiffs are advised to work with an Indiana personal injury attorney who can help them navigate the complexities of these cases.

Have You or a Loved One Suffered Injuries Because of Another’s Negligence?

If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries in any kind of sports activity, contact the Padove Law Firm today. Attorney Burton A. Padove is a dedicated Indiana personal injury attorney with a long history of successfully representing injury victims in Indiana premise liability claims and other negligence lawsuits. Attorney Padove provides compassionate and knowledgeable insight to guide you through all the steps of your claim. Contact Padove Law at 877-446-5294 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your personal injury case.

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