Lawsuit Over Injury From Escaped Race Horses Results in $175K Award

An Illinois man has been awarded $175,000 for injuries he sustained while trying to avoid two escaped race horses. 

The personal injury lawsuit was filed by Shaun Lievers, who tore cartilage in his right shoulder while steering his vehicle to avoid hitting one of two race horses that broke free from their pasture on the evening of December 3, 2008, according to a report in The Madison Record.

The lawsuit, filed against Alice and Lannie Yates, charged the couple with failing to take proper precautions to keep the horses from escaping.

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According to the complaint, Lievers saw the horses run into a mini van that was driving ahead of him on Illinois State Route 159 at night. He said he thought he clipped one of the horses, but there was no evidence that there was an impact. Lievers refused care the night of the accident, but two days later he saw his doctor due to pain in his shoulder.

Liever was diagnosed with a full thickness tear through the right rotator cuff of his shoulder, as well as a shoulder posterior labral tear. Lievers has undergone surgery to repair the damage, but allegedly still suffers from shoulder pain and weakness.

The Yates testified that they do not know how the horses got over the four-foot fence, but assume that they jumped it. They testified that pasture fences do not come tall enough to completely ensure that the horses cannot jump them, and they felt that their pasture was sufficiently secured.

The Madison County Circuit Court jury disagreed, and awarded Lievers $175,000 for medical expenses and lost wages.

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