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TOPIC: Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think???

Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 25 Sep 2009 00:59 #1

Most of you that know me, know over the years that I pushed for higher fee’s to cover the cost of doing business with a fair wage. A return of your investment and a return on your investment. That farriers should conduct there business as professionals and in a professional manner.

I have been asked post this question on the BB because of some thing that happened in our area this summer. To see what other farriers think.

Should a farrier that is in business trimming and shoeing horse be insured for damages or injury to a client’s horse???

I will not get into the reasons why the new farrier, but it was not problems with the old farrier or trying to cut cost.

I will say the horse owner is very knowledgeable about equines and a full time professional in the equine industry.

Case scenario:

New Farrier comes out to shoe a show horse very high end, horse is gentle and been shod for a number of years. The horse is in the cross ties and for some reason jerks or pulls it hind leg away from the farrier. Farrier lost balance, turn loose of leg and push against the hip of the horse causing the leg that was up to brush the other hock tearing the hide and causing damage and systemic infection and infection into the bone and hock area. Farrier failed to bend or cut nails, left nails sticking straight up or out. Cost to cure $30,000 Horse is now sound. Vet treatment was with in minutes when the accident first happened.

The owner asks the farrier if they had insurance was told yes, but later discover they did not.

It is my understanding the owner is considering pursuing this through the courts to recover the medical cost only.

Open for discussion please.
Ray K. Miller, Jr. // Retired Farrier
Miller Land & LiveStock, Co. LLC
Equine Management Services, Inc.
www.raymiller.ws
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 25 Sep 2009 02:57 #2

  • T. Wm. HALL
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I know as ever that there are a lot of loop-holes in laws and extreme differences in certain areas. I am not a lawyer or legal counsel, nor do I play one on T.V. ;)

It the case above that you spoke of, I do think that the Farrier can indeed be held liable because he did not take adequate precautions to prevent the horse from being injured. (Didn't cut off, or bend nails to prevent injury)

But on the other hand, if the Farrier sets the horse and 2 days later the horse over-reaches and causes significant bulb or hoof damage. Can he be held liable for the same amount of damages? I think that he can not. Any one of us can be driving a nail, any time, any place, the horse could pull away and inflict severe injury possibly leading to death. There would be no negligence involved in that case, so what happens then?

I think it all comes down to the courts and applicable laws in their jurisdiction, or simply what mood or walk of life the judge is from. There are stories and urban legends here in the Farrier world that range from the horse that flipped over and killed itself on the Farriers Anvil to complex and lengthy legal issues that stem from a simple abscess. Some we win, some we lose. I don't know the legal limits are if a Farrier establishes his business as a Corporation or LLC as to what can happen in a legal dispute such as your scenario.

Our profession (at least here in the US) doesn't require us to hold such insurance as Contractors and other similar service providers. If we are working within the scope of our practice and we are not diagnosing/treating (infringing upon Veterinary issues) I feel that we should be in the clear.

There are so many grey areas. So many cracks for simple accidents to fall into.

My 2 Cents worth.
Trevor Wm. Hall, CF
Hall's Horseshoeing
Redmond, Oregon U.S.A.
www.Hallshorseshoeing.com


He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. ~Confuscius
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 25 Sep 2009 13:58 #3

Mr. Hall thank you for your answer.

Do you think farriers should carry insurance to protect themselves from claims like thses?

Would you consider it a wise business decision to do so?

I forgot to mention the reason for the horse jerking was the fact that the farrier quick the horse.
Ray K. Miller, Jr. // Retired Farrier
Miller Land & LiveStock, Co. LLC
Equine Management Services, Inc.
www.raymiller.ws
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 01:08 #4

  • 805farrier
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Ray K. Miller, Jr. wrote:
Mr. Hall thank you for your answer.

Do you think farriers should carry insurance to protect themselves from claims like thses?

Would you consider it a wise business decision to do so?

I forgot to mention the reason for the horse jerking was the fact that the farrier quick the horse.

I carry insurance to protect myself from situations like this. I will have to check the premiums for this year, but last year it was a little more than $500 for me to carry liability insurance. I just write it in to my business cost and dont lose a wink of sleep at night!;)

Plus one of the college's I do a couple of horses for requires it!
Tony Knust
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 01:16 #5

  • George Geist
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Ray K. Miller, Jr. wrote:
Case scenario:

New Farrier comes out to shoe a show horse very high end, horse is gentle and been shod for a number of years. The horse is in the cross ties and for some reason jerks or pulls it hind leg away from the farrier. Farrier lost balance, turn loose of leg and push against the hip of the horse causing the leg that was up to brush the other hock tearing the hide and causing damage and systemic infection and infection into the bone and hock area. Farrier failed to bend or cut nails, left nails sticking straight up or out. Cost to cure $30,000 Horse is now sound. Vet treatment was with in minutes when the accident first happened.

The owner asks the farrier if they had insurance was told yes, but later discover they did not.

It is my understanding the owner is considering pursuing this through the courts to recover the medical cost only.

Open for discussion please.
Horseshoer in this scenario is 100% liable. This is why especially on racetracks all but the most foolish insist on a holder who is employed by the stable not the shoer. It's all about CYA. With no handler shoer has care, custody, and control and can indeed be sued.

Point being the way you work can minimize your chances of getting into trouble. Need for such insurance is a personal decision with many factors involved but some guys tend to take unnecessary risks that others don't.
George
George
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www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 02:39 #6

  • calshoer
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I would not be so quick to blame the farrier, George. You were not there to see it. And I doubt Ray was there either.

How many of us have had a horse yank a leg just as the nail was driven and before it was wrung or bent over....???? Go ahead, raise your hands.... all of you.
Now don't get me wrong, IF the farrier routinely left all the nails sticking up, then I would say there should be some liability but even so if the vet treated it so promptly and it still got that infected then some blame for the serious infection must be shared by the vet, too.

But to answer Ray's question, IMO farriers should carry liability and care / custody insurance for just such accidents.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 03:05 #7

  • halfmiler
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they usualy wind up in my hand,never have one stick a horse knock on wood.did have a few close calls tho. but it was due to flys and a holder that had his head up is bum.
J.M.Shrader
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 08:45 #8

calshoer wrote:
I would not be so quick to blame the farrier, George. You were not there to see it. And I doubt Ray was there either.

How many of us have had a horse yank a leg just as the nail was driven and before it was wrung or bent over....???? Go ahead, raise your hands.... all of you.
Now don't get me wrong, IF the farrier routinely left all the nails sticking up, then I would say there should be some liability but even so if the vet treated it so promptly and it still got that infected then some blame for the serious infection must be shared by the vet, too.

But to answer Ray's question, IMO farriers should carry liability and care / custody insurance for just such accidents.


Patty, you are correct I was not present at the time and yes I have had a horse yank a leg before the nail was wrung or bent over.

Owner asks me if I carried insurance in my day. Of course my answer was yes, but in 45 years or so I lucked out and never had to use it for injury to a client’s horse. I think over the years I was damaged more then any horse ;) :(

It appears from what I understand that for this young green farrier it was common practice not to bend or wring the nails off.

This case in my opinion is becoming a mess. One of the noted farriers in the area called the owner in defense of the green farrier and told the owner she had no right to inquire if the farrier had insurance and to attempt to file a claim to recover vet cost. Because of this interference there is all likelihood that this will end up in a court case. With a young farrier suffering from lack of insurance and poor training in the art and science of horseshoeing.

The owner ask me how would I handle this problem and did I carry insurance. I told her that I did carry insurance in my day and could not understand why any one in business would not carry insurance. I then told her that I had been out of the business for a number of years and I would ask the question at the Farrier Center and see what my peer’s thoughts were on the subject.

My personal and profession opinion would be that the farrier should have carried insurance, not lied to the owner that they had insurance. I would have made sure that the horse had the best possible vet care. I no doubt would have checked if not daily but every other day on the condition of the horse and might have suggested additional care if it appeared the horse was not improving.

If it can be established that the farrier in this case did not bend over or wring off the nails, then I feel the farrier should carry most of the burden for the cost to cure and treat the horse.

Accidents happen and when they do it becomes a business decision on how to handle the problem. If this happen in my barn to one of our horses, I would shoulder most of the blame. You may ask why? Because I have the knowledge to intercede and correct a young and green farrier from the foolishness of not bending over or wring nails off, of having a horse in cross ties where I could not turn the horse out from under itself in case of a problem. (That is one of the main reason I always had a knowledgeable assistant working with me that held the horse. It was two fold to protect me and to protect the horse). I too this day say a horse should never be tied hard and fast while someone is working with the horse. There is just too much that can go wrong some days.

I do thank each one of you for you coming into this discussion.
Ray K. Miller, Jr. // Retired Farrier
Miller Land & LiveStock, Co. LLC
Equine Management Services, Inc.
www.raymiller.ws
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 11:06 #9

  • beslagsmed
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I carry insurance because anything can happen at anytime. If one can afford to pay bills that high, then why bother with insurance, but I don't think there are many of us walking around with that kind of pocket change.

Its just good common business sense to carry insurance.
Mikel Dawson, RJF

(Denmark)
What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 16:35 #10

Ray K. Miller, Jr. wrote:
The owner ask me how would I handle this problem and did I carry insurance. I told her that I did carry insurance in my day and could not understand why any one in business would not carry insurance.

Why would you say yes? It is nobody's business if you are insured or not. My 2 cents worth.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 16:44 #11

Think long and hard before telling everyone your insured. Not a good idea. Might as well tell everyone you have a load of cash in your sock drawer. By the way I don't. :)

Anyone can sue anybody for any reason. Best bet is let the court decide.

Ray, I assume the farrier did not get injured and I am glad he/she did not.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 17:40 #12

  • Mike Ferrara
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Yesterday was an interesting day. I was shoeing a mare behind when a borders had her horse on the cross ties down the isle a bit. Something got into her horse and the horse freaked, jerked the cross ties down and made lots of noise. Needless to say, the horse I was working on acted on the commotion and I had to move fast to save my own neck. There was no real damage done but that was just luck.

A while later while working on another horse in the same spot, there was a big commotion in the stall next to where I was working and this horse too, moved out in a hurry. Fortunately he's old and slower than me. LOL. As it turned out, the horse in the next stall down actually threw his full water bucket over the stall wall making a mess and freaking out the other horse.

In either incident any one of us in the area (man or beast) could have been hurt. Unfortunately, your fault or not, win or lose, you'd need insurance just to be able to defend yourself. Horses and other people are unpredictable and people ought to realize that and know that their horse is liable to kill a bi-stander or just self destruct any second whether I'm there or not.

I don't mind buying insurance but then prices are going up again. I don't mind if they don't.
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 26 Sep 2009 23:03 #13

  • Travis Reed
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I just wonder what kind of doors will be open with such a lawsuit

I just see way to many variables in the owners start suing farriers.
This could start a lot aggravation..

1. Lets say a farrier is working on a horse and he pulls back hurting the farrier? Could he sue the owner?? On the grounds of the owner should have had the horse broke to stand for the farrier…

2. lets say a horse blows and the nails where not wrung off and it hurts the horse? Now they go to court and the lawyer argues the farrier was inexperienced.. Well would they determine that it is the horse owners place to know if the farrier is experienced enough to shoe the horse??

3. Lets say a horse blows and the nails where not wrung off and it hurts the horse? But the farrier was from a good farrier school and the lawyers argued the farrier should have been taught that in school.. Well then would that set up a law suit to sue the school because they should have made sure the farrier was ready to start shoeing..

4. Lets say the owner found the farrier off the AFA web site so the owner assumed he was a good farrier.. He was a CJF after all and the AFA indorsed him.. So now would the AFA be brought into the law suit..

You see where im going with this. This with a bunch of greedy lawers could end up a big mess.. But I do think carrying insurance is a smart thing.. But I would say the horse owner was just as guilty as the farrier and the horse should not have pulled back and said farrier would not have lost his balance..
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 27 Sep 2009 00:13 #14

  • dave murray
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I know of a coulpe incedents that made it to court, a farrier friend of mine (this was 25 years ago mind you) went to a clients barn to shoe there horse. it was a brand new metal pole barn that was unfinished inside. owner was holding the horse. when the farrier reached for the hind leg the horse kicked back real hard and put his leg threw the metal siding. completely severing the tendons in the hind leg. the horse was taken to Gueph University vet scool for treatment. a coulpe days later the horse was put down. the owner sued the farrier, i went to the court case as a character witness for my friend. i never had to take the stand. the judge asked who was holding the horse and the owner said he was. that put all liability on the owner . the judge told the farrier that if he had tied the horse up or had his son hold him (his son was with him). that he would of been 100% liable for all the damage.
another case at the racetrack , farrier hired a groom to hold a horse for him to shoe. the groom didn't work for the trainer of the horse. the horse was a rat and they put a lip chain on it. the horse flipped over backwards and broke it's withers. long story short it went to court and when it was all over the farrier lost because as George said he assumed care and control. he told me it cost him about $35,000 and that had to be a dozen years ago. i have a coulpe more stories of things that have happened to me ,but this is getting to long. i think if you can find reasonable insurance it's worth it to have it.
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RE:Would you and do you carry insurance. What do you think??? 27 Sep 2009 00:39 #15

  • Mike Ferrara
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dave murray wrote:
I know of a coulpe incedents that made it to court, a farrier friend of mine (this was 25 years ago mind you) went to a clients barn to shoe there horse. it was a brand new metal pole barn that was unfinished inside. owner was holding the horse. when the farrier reached for the hind leg the horse kicked back real hard and put his leg threw the metal siding. completely severing the tendons in the hind leg. the horse was taken to Gueph University vet scool for treatment. a coulpe days later the horse was put down. the owner sued the farrier, i went to the court case as a character witness for my friend. i never had to take the stand. the judge asked who was holding the horse and the owner said he was. that put all liability on the owner . the judge told the farrier that if he had tied the horse up or had his son hold him (his son was with him). that he would of been 100% liable for all the damage.
another case at the racetrack , farrier hired a groom to hold a horse for him to shoe. the groom didn't work for the trainer of the horse. the horse was a rat and they put a lip chain on it. the horse flipped over backwards and broke it's withers. long story short it went to court and when it was all over the farrier lost because as George said he assumed care and control. he told me it cost him about $35,000 and that had to be a dozen years ago. i have a coulpe more stories of things that have happened to me ,but this is getting to long. i think if you can find reasonable insurance it's worth it to have it.

It sounds like the best option is to never take custody of the horse.

By what I know of liability law, just having custody shouldn't be enough to establish liability. The standard of conduct should be that of a "reasonably prudent person". In this case, a "reasonably prudent farrier".

The things that are normally considered required for a successful suit are a duty of care (custody for example), a failure to meet that duty of care to the reasonably prudent standard and damages that are a direct result of not meeting that duty of care. Just having custody when a horse decides to self destruct should not be enough.

My limited experience in this comes from teaching scuba diving where people sometimes get killed and the insurance companies that I used NEVER settle. Everything goes to trial in an attempt to discourage law suits in the first place. Is this the case with farrier liability insurance?
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