Posted on Nov 29, 2010
A jury in Madison County, Illinois, awarded a Bunker Hill man with $175,000 in damages for an injury he sustained in a car accident that occurred after several racehorses escaped from their pasture.

On a dark night in December of 2008, Shaun Lievers was driving on Illinois State Route 159 when a number of racehorses bolted out into the street. One horse was struck by a vehicle in front of Lievers and he jerked his steering wheel to avoid hitting the animals. Though he refused medical attention from emergency responders, he went to the doctor the following day after he discovered he could not work due to a shoulder injury. All in all, he says that he spent $60,000 on medical bills after the car accident.

The owners of the horses, Lannie and Alice Yates, took the stand to tell jurors that their horses had only escaped twice in the decades that they had run their farm. They also said that they believed their four-foot fences were adequate to keep the horses in the field, but that they still did not know how the horses escaped that night. The defense argued that Lievers claimed to have clipped a horse but there was no evidence of horsehair or damage on his vehicle. They also stressed that Lievers did not want immediate medical attention for his injury.

The personal injury case was settled in less than a day, with the jury siding with Lievers.

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