Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thrown from a horse, and a loss on summary judgment.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division reversed, and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment in this action where plaintiff was injured when she was thrown from a horse during a recreational ride at the stable operated by defendant equestrian center. The risk of a horse acting in an unintended manner resulting in the rider being thrown is a risk inherent in the sport of horseback riding, and there is no evidence that defendant stable was reckless. Neither is there evidence of concealed or unreasonably increased risks.

The Appellate Division found that defendant New York City, which owned and operated the park in which plaintiff rode, is also entitled to dismissal, as the bridle path had no defects contributing to the accident.

Student note:   Plaintiff's expert's opinion was conclusory, since it did not rely on any rules, regulations, laws or industry standards, and therefore, it fails to raise a triable issue of fact. Plaintiff's theory that defendant New York City owed her a duty based upon the licensing agreement it issued to the stable is unavailing since the City had no involvement with the operation of the stable, and the agreement contained no provision that would make plaintiff a third-party beneficiary of it.

Case:  Blumenthal v. Bronx Equestrian Ctr., Inc., NY Slip Op 01545 (1st Dep't 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  A third-party contractor's negligence and summary judgment.