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Case Law

  • Dangerous Wild Animals
    • Wilkins, et al. v. Daniels, et al. - This case challenges the constitutionality of the Ohio Dangerous Wild Animals and Restricted Snakes Act. This statute was passed in response to the Zanesville wild animal incident. The constitutionality of the law was upheld because it respects animal owners' First Amendment rights and is not a taking under the Fifth Amendment. 
  • Horse Racing
    • Konesky v. Wood Cty. Agricultural Soc. - The risk of being trampled by a runaway horse that came off a racetrack through a negligently placed or permitted gap in the fence was not an inherent risk of horse racing and primary assumption of the risk was inapplicable.
    • Hooser v. Ohio State Racing Commission - OAC 3769-17-18's constitutionality was affirmed. This Code prohibits the mistreatment of horses by the Ohio State Racing Commission. A trainer violated the Code when he whipped a horse and left welts on it. 
    • Cowans v. Ohio State Racing Commission - OAC 3769-8-01 was upheld as constitutional. This Code requires that owners of horses that test positive for foreign substances must return their winnings. 
    • Burneson v. Ohio State Racing Commission - A horse trainer's license was suspended after a criminal conviction of aggravated theft.
    • Thomas v. Ohio State Racing Commission - A denial of wrongful conduct was not enough to prevent a conviction of a horse trainer for the carbon dioxide levels of the horse exceeding the threshold amount. 
  • Dogs
    • Krzywicki v. Galletti - Since there was evidence that the victim of a dog bite played a substantial role in taking care of the dog prior to the attack, the vicitm was barred from recovery because she was a "keeper of the dog in that she had physical care of charge of dog, temporary or otherwise, at the time of the incident."
    • Jamison v. Stark Cty. Bd. of Commrs. - Employees of a political subdivision are not liable for dog bite injuries incurred while victim was volunteering at the county dog pound.
    • Davison v. Parker -  In a claim against a neighbor for killing the family dog, the appropriate measure of damages is the market value of the dog.  Ohio law does not consider sentimentality as a proper determination of damages.
    • State of Ohio v. Jackson - Owner did not fail to confine his dog because it was professionally trained to protect livestock, had never left the property in the 8 years that it was owned, and was not found to be outside of the supervision of the owner. 
    • City of Cleveland v. Lupica - Pleading no contest must be done knowingly, intelligently, or voluntarily.
    • Lewis v. Chovan - An employee of a dog grooming business is considered a "keeper" under state law, which prevents them from recovering against a dog's owner for strict liability. 
    • McDonald v. Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital - Dog stud was paralyzed after a botched surgery on it. Owner of the dog was able to recover $5,000 because the dog was irreplaceable and for lost stud fees. 
    • Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. Animal Hosp. - A dog's owner were not able to recover money from a veterinarian for mental and physical pain caused to the dog or for lack of companionship. 
  • Ohio's Equine Activity Liability Act
    • McGuire v. Jewett - While visitng a Chrismas tree farm, passengers on a horse drawn carriage were injured when the horse spooked and abruptly turned, tipping the wagon and ejecting the passengers. Summary judgment for the Christmas tree farm was improper because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the horse-drawn wagon was a vehicle as defined by statute. If the wagon was a vehicle and traveled on a "highway," then it was required to have brakes, which it did not.
    • Lawson v. Dutch Heritage Farms, Inc. - While a passenger on a horse-drawn buggy, a woman was injured when the horse reared and bolted towards the barn, flipping the buggy. A genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the owner of the buggy "made reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the equine activity participant's ability to safely engage in the equine activity given its state of knowledge of the horses's disposition."
    • Dennis v. Nickajack Farms, Ltd. - There was no finding of wanton misconduct when rider sustained injuries after being thrown off of a horse because the rider had been warned the horse had not been exercised that day, the rider had been warned numerous times to remove the spurs he was wearing and the rider knew of the inherent risks of riding the horse.
    • Graham v. Shamrock Stables - A woman injured when she was knocked to the ground by a horse spooked by a dog in the stable, cannot recover under O.R.C. 955.28 (owner of dogs liable for injuries they cause to others) because the Equine Activity Act considers an equine's reaction to other animals as one of the inherent risks of equine activity.
    • Allison v. Johnson - A person spectating equine activity was barred from recovery because she fit the description under the equine immunity statute. 
    • Markowitz v. Bainbridge Equestrian Center - A waiver was upheld that protected a horse riding summer camp against injuries caused to a 7-year-old boy. The waiver released the camp from liability resulting from the unpredictable nature of "spooked" horses. 
    • Gibson v. Donahue - Defendant was not protected under the Equine Activity Liability Act when her dogs chased a horse that was being ridden by Plaintiff. 
    • Smith v. Landfair - A woman who helped an owner handle his horse was kicked in the head in the process. She sued, but was found to be a "equine activity participant" and was unable to succeed on her claim. 
  • Release Agreement
    • Tanker v. N. Crest Equestrian Ctr. - Summary judgment was improperly granted to the equestrian center because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the idemnity agreement was clear and unequivocal.
  • Animals at Large
    • Triplett v. Geiger - The owners of a cow who had wandered onto the roadway were held liable when a driver struck the cow and was seriously injured. 
    • Petersheim v. Corum - Case was remanded because reasonable minds could come to differenct conclusions regarding whether the bull owner's maintenance and monitoring of the perimeter fence, as well as his actions or omissions regarding the use of the corral, resulted in a violation of his duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent the bull's escape onto a public roadway.
  • Animal Cruelty
    • State v. Davidson - A woman was convicted of animal cruelty after her dogs were found to be malnourished and her horse was found to have mud and feces in its intestines.
    • State v. Weeks - A portion of Ohio's animal fighting statute was found to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
    • Ohio v. Hale - A keeper of 90-100 dogs was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to 2 years of probation. 
    • State v. Gaines - Following a conviction for dog fighting, items and money to be forfeited must be in direct connection with the dog fighting itself. 
  • Wildlife
    • State v. Brannon - Owner of bird shooting preserve was charged with violating wildlife regulations for improperly tagging snares set on the property to prevent other wildlife from harming the fowl.
    • State v. Price - Hunter found guilty of hunting on the land of another without permission.
    • State v. Pierce - The State failed to prove an untagged deer was a wild white-tailed deer that is subject to state hunting regulations.
    • Risner v. Ohio Dep't of Natural Res. - ODNR was authorized to take money ($27,851) in restitution for the illegal harvest of a whitetail deer with more than 125" of antlers. Note: this case will be brought before the Ohio Supreme Court.
    • State v. Saurman - A law prohibiting spotlighting or "shining" deer was upheld.
    • State v. Troyer - A defendant was warranted in killing an owl after it had been attacking his collection of exotic birds. A property owner may use such force as is reasonably necessary, when reasonably necessary, to protect property from marauding owls.
    • State v. Chambers - Evidence of deer mounts in a defendant's house, deer remains found under his porch, and the other residents of the house not being hunters was enough to warrant a conviction of unlawful possession of whitetail deer parts. 
  • Nuisance
    • Columbus v. Kim - A local ordinance that prohibited keeping an unreasonably loud dog was upheld. More specifically, the term "unreasonable" was not unconstitutionally vague. 
    • Summit County Board of Health v. Pearson - Keeping 44 exotic cats and 16 black bears on a property was a public nuisance. 
  • Livestock Tampering
    • Minges v. Ohio Department of Agriculture - After winning the 2011 Butler Co. Fair, the market steer tested positive for flunixin. However, the owner of the steer prevailed because the ODA could not prove that the family acted to administer the drug into the steer. 

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