The Mississippi Supreme Court recently decided to hear a George County case concerning a car accident involving a horse.
The personal-injury case involved a 2008 automobile collision between Diana Ladnier and Diego, a horse owned by Joseph Hester. In the lower court, a George County judge ruled in favor Hester. The state Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge’s decision just this past year.
The details of the accident are undisputed, the issue is over who is at fault. The accident occurred shortly after midnight on January 2, 2008, near Lucedale. According to court records, Ladnier was driving her car when three horses ran across the darkened street. Unable to avoid the collisions she struck the largest horse, Diego, who weighed approximately 1,000 pounds.
Ladnier claimed Hester was negligent for allowing his horses to roam free. In return, Hester claimed he checked the fences on his property earlier that same day. He said it appeared the horses trampled a portion of the fence and that was the first time in two years they had done that, something he was thus unable to anticipate.
The Appeals Court ruled that Ladnier failed to rebut evidence by Hester that his fence was adequate for containing horses. The case now goes before the Mississippi Supreme Court who will have to weigh the evidence to decide whether Hester fulfilled his duty to Ladnier by attempting to properly secure his horses.