Search Results for: farm animal liability act

Texas Farm Animal Liability Act FAQ

As you may recall from several prior posts, the Texas Legislature passed several changes to the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act  (FALA) that went into effect on September 1, 2021.  To read more detail about the Farm Animal Liability Act and these changes, click here. After fielding many questions from folks who just wanted basic information (and less of the legal detail that lawyers like me enjoy so much), I thought a quick frequently asked questions breakdown might be useful. What is the FALA?  The Farm Animal Liability… Read More →

Amendments to Texas Farm Animal Liability Act Effective September 1

The Texas Legislature has passed and Governor Abbott has signed House Bill 365, which will make important changes to the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (FALA). All farm animal owners should pay careful attention to the changes coming to the FALA, which will modify the scope of application and will also require additional steps be taken by farm animal owners. Background  The Texas Farm Animal Liability Act is a statute offering limited liability to farm animal owners if injuries are caused by an inherent risk to a farm… Read More →

Court Analyzes TX Farm Animal Liability Act When Horse Injures Bridesmaid at Wedding Venue

Lobue v. Hanson, a case involving a wedding venue, a bridesmaid, a horse, and the Farm Animal Liability Act recently caught my attention.   [Read case here.] Background Todd Hanson owns a fifty-six acre property in Crosby, which he rents as a wedding venue called The Barn at Four Pines Ranch.  The weddings are held in a barn on the property.  Cattle and horses are on the property, but there is a fence separating the livestock from the barn. When the bride and groom arrived on their wedding day,… Read More →

TX House Bill to Modify Farm Animal Liability Act Unanimous Out of Committee

A bill that would seek to essentially undo a 2020 Texas Supreme Court decision limiting the scope of the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (FALA) has been unanimously passed out of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.  For farmers and ranchers, this is an important issue as it relates to their legal protection from liability for injuries caused by horses or livestock. Statutory Background The Texas Equine Act was passed in 1995.  The scope of the statute was amended in 2011 to expand the scope of the… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Holds Farm Animal Liability Act Inapplicable to Ranchers & Ranch Hands

The Texas Supreme Court issued a divided opinion on a case involving the death of a ranch employee and determined the Farm Animal Liability Act does not apply to “ranchers and ranch hands.”  This interpretation limits the scope of the Act and is important for livestock owners to be aware of. [Read full opinion here.] Background The Waaks raise Charolais cattle in Fayette County.  In 2005, they hired Raul Zuniga to work part time with the cattle, landscaping, and cutting hay.  In 2008, he began working full-time for… Read More →

Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (Part II): Examples and Advice

In Part 1 of this series, I offered a detailed outline and explanation of the Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (“the Act”).  Today, we will review Texas appellate cases that have applied the Act to see how the statute plays out in real life.  As the Act is relatively new, originally passed in 1995, there are not a huge number of opinions analyzing this statute. Dodge v. Durdin, Johnson v. Smith, Young v. McKim The first group of cases we will consider are those analyzing whether the Act’s… Read More →

Texas Farm Animal Liability Act (Part I): The Basics

The Texas Equine Activity Limitation of Liability Act was originally passed in 1995 and applied only to equine animals.  Forty-six states, all but California, Maryland, Nevada, and New York, have enacted similar equine statutes, although each state’s statute greatly differs in details.  The purpose of these statutes are to encourage participation in equine activities, to ensure the public is aware of inherent risks of equine activities, and to provide limited liability to equine facility operators. In 2011, the Texas Legislature amended the statute to apply to not only equine animals, but… Read More →

California Lawsuit Challenges Actions Involving Show Goat and Junior Livestock Sale

A California family has filed a lawsuit challenging actions of a county fair association and law enforcement officers after an exhibitor tried to avoid selling her animal at a junior livestock show.  [Read Second Amended Complaint here.] Please note that all of the facts below were taken from the Second Amended Complaint for Damages.  The Defendants have not yet filed a response. Background E.L. (name protected as she is a minor child) owned a goat named Cedar.  She purchased the goat in April 2022 and cared for him… Read More →

Statutory Amendments Offer Broader Liability Protection to Texas Landowners

The Texas Legislature recently amended Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 75.006 to expand liability protections in situations when damages or injuries arise that are out of control of the agricultural landowner or lessee.  The statute is titled “Certain Liability Limited in Connection with Livestock or Agricultural Land” and the amendments are found in HB 73. Prior Version Previously, Section 75.006 provided protection to landowners in certain scenarios.  First, landowners were not liable for damages arising from an incident caused by livestock due to the act or… Read More →

Liability Release Protects Horse Owners in Lawsuit

The El Paso Court of Appeals recently enforced a liability waiver against a party injured when she fell off a horse in Green v. Lajitas Capital Partners, LLC.  [Read Opinion here.]  This case is a great reminder about the law surrounding liability waivers and how they can be an important part of a risk management plan. Background In June 2020, Sherri Green and other members paid to go on a sunset trail ride at Lajitas Resort. Prior to the ride, Sherri signed a release that was labeled in bold,… Read More →