Equine Law 101: Understanding Equine Activity Liability and Minimizing Liability Risk

(104 Ratings)

Produced on: October 02, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by

Categories:

Course Description

Time 90 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Riding horses is undeniably an inherently dangerous activity. Answering why enthusiasts voluntarily participate in arguably dangerous equine sports is not difficult; answering how we encourage sponsors, organizers, and other professionals to provide for these sports - notwithstanding the potential liability exposure - is much more difficult. Participation alone in a sporting event with inherent or obvious dangerous attributes may be enough to waive liability under the legal doctrine of implied assumption of risk. Participants may also explicitly waive their right to recover through written liability releases. The legislature can further encourage inherently risky sports with statues shifting the burden from the providers onto the participants.

Equine activities, now in 47 states, are promoted by delineating responsibility of the risk onto the participant in statutes codifying the assumption of risk and explicitly enforcing written liability waivers. Yvonne C. Ocrant, a Chicago based equine transaction and litigation attorney discusses the purpose of these statutes, explains the terms of the statutes’ liability protections, details the exceptions to those protections, advises on how contracts may expand liability protections, and provides consultation on the use of insurance and limited liability companies or corporations to further insulate equine activity providers from liability exposure.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the purpose of the Equine Activity Liability Act (“the Act”) and detail the content of the Act in most states, emphasizing the importance of the differences in definitions  in several states
  2. Define the equine activity participant’s responsibility as provided by the Act
  3. Address the exceptions to the liability protections under the Act
  4. Appreciate the Warning sign posting required by the Act and demonstrate the consequences of failed postings under the Act in several states
  5. Discuss methods of reducing risk of liability exposure with the use of enforceable and effective liability releases and other contracts, carrying sufficient and adequate insurance, and in many cases, operating equine activities as a limited liability company or corporation


Faculty

Yvonne Ocrant

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Yvonne Ocrant practices in the areas of equine law, title insurance, employment law and commercial litigation. She is a trial lawyer and mediator.

Ms. Ocrant's equine law experience includes handling litigation involving the Equine Activity Liability Act and various other state and federal laws. She assists individual horse owners; trainers; breeders; riding, boarding and training facilities; veterinarians and other entities in the equine industry litigate and resolve claims for personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and other legal issues. She drafts contracts for horse purchases, sales, leases and commission arrangements, and creates equine liability releases for boarding and training facilities, trainers, transporters and other individuals and entities sponsoring or participating in equine activities.

Ms. Ocrant routinely represents employers under the full range of employment laws, including both federal and state discrimination laws on issues of race, national origin, sex, sexual harassment and religion. She also handles actions under state contract and tort law, including retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with contract, fraud, and invasion of privacy.

She defends numerous claims in state and federal courts and before state and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Ocrant handles cases and provides counseling in matters involving ADA, ADEA, employee breach of fiduciary duty/confidentiality agreements, Equal Pay Act, FMLA, defamation, Illinois Human Rights Act, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Ms. Ocrant also handles unemployment cases before the Illinois Department of Employment Security and state court, and provides counseling on numerous unemployment matters such as willful and deliberate misconduct, voluntary termination, refusal of work, chargeability, contribution rates, independent contractor arrangements, and claimant work search requirements.

She also regularly represents title insurance underwriters, agents, mortgage brokers and lenders in resolving claims and litigation cases over title insurance issues.

Reviews

WD
William D.

Fascinating stuff. One of my favorite courses this year.

DP
David P.

Excellent. I couldn't ask for a better primmer on Equine liability issues.

RP
Ronald P.

great course on importance of releases generally. very well taught

JR
Jonathan R.

Well done lots of practical important information; thank you!

RD
Rebekah D.

Thank you

DF
David F.

a very, very good program

DC
Daphne Marie C.

This is a very interesting presentation. Ms. Ocrant's knowledge is demonstrated by her ability to make a complicated area of law easily understandable even by a beginner. This has been one of the best CLE's I've taken here on Lawline!

PW
Pamela W.

Excellent discussion of the issues relating to equine activity liability. Very helpful.

EG
Edward G.

As a horse owner and attorney I will be recommending this course to similar situated attorneys. Very well presented.

TD
Tom D.

Excellent presentation!

RG
Rachel G.

If there were prizes given for CLE classes this one would get the blue ribbon. Well done.Helpful info not just for attorneys but for anyone who rides.

RH
Ronna H.

Full marks! Interesting, informative and insightful.

KA
Kelly A.

Excellent!

DC
Diane c.

thank you neigh!!!!!!

GP
Georgian P.

Very interesting topic! Enjoyed the presentation. Speaker knowledgeable and informative. Learned a great deal of helpful information!

SS
Stephanie S.

Very clear and knowledgable presenter

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