On a date in late 2009, the Plaintiff was mustering cattle on the Defendant’s property when his horse tripped over a fence which had collapsed and become obscured by long grass, causing the Plaintiff to fall from his horse. As a result of same, the Plaintiff sustained fractures to his ribs, fractures to his left clavicle and undisplaced spiral fracture of the third metatarsal, a punctured left lung and various soft tissue injuries to the left hip, groin, back, and neck. Unfortunately, as a result of the incident, the Plaintiff’s horse had to be put down.
There were major liability issues in this matter in that the Defendant initially denied being the owner of the property where the accident took place. As a result of same it became necessary to retain an investigator to attend upon the Defendant’s rural premises to carry out investigations. The investigations revealed that the Defendant was the right owner of the property.
Other liability issues in this matter where allegations that the Plaintiff had trespassed on the Defendant’s property and the Plaintiff had in fact not been granted permission to perform the mustering of cattle on the date of the subject accident. As a result of same, it became necessary to compromise.
In terms of damages, a claim was made for: non economic loss for the Plaintiff’s pain and suffering inflicted by the Defendant’s negligence; past and future out of expenses in relation to attendance upon medical treatment providers and the purchase of pharmaceuticals and same into the future; domestic care and assistance provided by family members from the date of the subject accident until 6 months post injury; past economic loss in relation to the Plaintiff’s various employments along with the value of the breeding mare which had to be put down as a result of the accident and a cushion was claimed in relation to the Plaintiff’s diminution in earning capacity in the open labour market.
Given the liability issues in the matter, it became necessary to engage in protracted negotiations with the Defendant’s representatives. Following protracted negotiations, the matter settled 2 weeks out from the allocated hearing dates for the amount of $70,000.00 all inclusive.
In light of the circumstances the settlement sum was fair compensation for the loss and injuries sustained as a result of the Defendant’s negligence in failing to maintain the premises in terms of the grass and fence.
Overall, the matter was resolved in little under 2 years. Case settled on 8 August 2012