Friday, April 10, 2015

Goose Liability

The Mississippi Supreme Court granted rehearing on Olier v. Bailey located here.  The case involved an individual who was hurt on the property of another by the wild geese that were kept on the property.  Apparently, they were domesticated to some degree.  The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed that this is not a premises liability claim but reversed on the grounds that there were issues of fact concerning whether the geese had a dangerous propensity.  The quote to note from the opinion is:

"The question is not whether Bailey breached her duty of care toward Olier as a landowner, but as an animal owner. The geese were not a condition of the land to which such a duty attached. The two torts exist independently of one another. One does not have to have been injured on another’s property to maintain a civil action for damages caused by a defendant’s animal. The dangerous-propensity theory of liability exists independently of premises liability, and Bailey’s duty of care as an animal owner is different than her duty of care as a landowner."

Somewhere there is a joke about this being the case of the wild goose chase.  It is funny to read, however, not funny if you are the person hurt by the geese. 

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