I have previously written about the new equine activity laws in the Autumn 1999 and Spring 2000 issues of The Draft Horse Journal. These articles discussed the new laws, which are designed to protect the horse owner and handler from inherent risks of horse activity and discourage frivolous lawsuits for personal injury. Currently, 44 states have passed these protective laws (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming). That leaves 6 states which still have not passed equine protection laws. (Alaska, California, Maryland, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania). The reason these 6 states have yet to pass equine activity laws relates to politics, trial lawyers, the insurance industry and the makeup of the State House of Representatives and Senate. I will comment no further or run the risk of being really “politically incorrect!”
Our analysis begins with the case of Friedli v. Kerr, decided by the Tennessee Court of Appeals on February 23, 2001. In this case the Tennessee Court of Appeals found that a carriage service was not protected by the Tennessee Equine Activity Statute.