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TOPIC: if someone wants to sue??

if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 06:12 #1

  • michaelgalik
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lets say one of us walks up to a horse does a "simple" reset...
no shoeing job is "simple" but for sake of argument...
no hot nails no problems...a few days later the costomer calls and says "my horse is three legged lame and its your falt..." what do you say? do?

you deny?... is it still my falt because i didnt walk the horse first?

i deny...they say you pay me what the horse is worth or im sueing???


what can a guy do in this kinda situation??


i am not in this situation, but i dont know what to say when someone asks what i do if someone sues?
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 07:15 #2

  • Peters Shoeing
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Let's say you rendered services and walked away having caused no harm, horse was fine, and you're dealing with a crazy person who is blaming you. Most people would be testing you if they bring up negligence and suit, etc. It costs them to sue you or a lawyer will have to take on the case which is not likely. Ignore them. They will likely disappear if you keep your cool. Crazy people become desperate people in this economy.

The best method here is avoidance- heed the warnings. Dont work for shady people. It 's difficult to prove negligence or that your work resulted in harm and damages....BUT people can and will take you to court or try to settle. Unfortunately, court and attorney fees can ruin a small business. Your insurance is supposed to help pay for your representation. This might be only reason to have insurance.

Now, if a mistake was made and it did cause injury or lameness, a decent person should go re-do the job and make it right. If it caused a Vet visit, I guess settling with the Vet may be in order. That would be an admission of guilt and the person could still sue you so I would request they relieve responsibility by way of a contract. ?

As far as I gather, you are not the person responsible for evaluating a Horse walk. Neither walking the horse nor not walking the horse should put you at fault. You are not a Veterinarian and you are not diagnosing or treating injury/lameness. How can walking a Horse walk give a complete picture- other diagnostics are needed- Xrays, bloodwork, manipulation. Diagnostics that require a Veterinary license in order to interpret and treat.
Alan Peters
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 07:21 #3

  • ThomasRideandDrive
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Your question is simply one that relates to anyone in business who is providing goods or services and receives a complaint.

First just to point out though that it's a quantum leap from a customer saying they're dissatisfied or think you did something wrong to being sued.

You're not being sued till you actually are served papers and in the meantime there's plenty of time and opportunity to try to reach an amicable settlement. Maybe even conciliated or arbitrated if you can't do "customer relations" yourself.

Though I'd say that in the first instant, if you've good business sense you listen to the customer and you try to address or redress the situation.

But in this example, I'd say you need to go back a step. Before and after trimming and shoeing you walk and trot a horse up. If that wasn't done then it's always going to be more difficult..... indeed impossible..... to claim the horse was fine and absolutely o.k. when it was left. To deny any responsibility when in truth you don't know and haven't even attempted to sort things out is guaranteed to wind the customer up and P* them off even more.

So what any good business man would do in the first instance is to respond positively to the customer. To say your sorry to hear they're not satisfied and are having a problem and seek to make arrangement to go back quickly and see for yourself by taking a long and hard look at what's wrong and if you can address the matter by doing something else. If you can agree that, then problem solved.

If it's something obviously serious or the customer is not for talking to then you suggest an independent report and in this sort of case, that may well be from a vet.

If that report suggests the lameness was coincidental or nothing to do with anything you did, then problem solved.

If that independent report suggests you did something wrong, then:

You then get your insurance policy and/or your professional trade membership details out and see where and what it says about "product or service liability" and "legal cover".

Sometimes with some trade bodies there's facility for arbitration and that might be what happens and prior to suing.

Personally speaking I always think that it's not "suing" or "litigation" that is to be feared or worried about. At least you know where you are with that and there's going to be a judgement that will be a matter of public knowledge.

What's much worse and can do a self-employed service provider MUCH more damage is bad mouthing or building a poor reputation for poor work. Of course every one of us will have at some time over our working lives done something we believe we could have done better or made a mistake or even botched something to make do in the context of circumstances at the time but IF you are known for not checking things you leave, then denying any fault if something goes immediately wrong and not trying to make it right at all, then it won't be long till you have no customers at all to sue you!
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 07:26 #4

  • ThomasRideandDrive
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Peters,

You were posting at the same time as me and something you said left me absolutely gob-smacked!

Peters Shoeing wrote:
As far as I gather, you are not the person responsible for evaluating a Horse walk. Neither walking the horse nor not walking the horse should put you at fault.
I've never ever seen or had a horse trimmed or shod without it being walked up before and walked and trotted after. The owner does the walking and trotting up and the farrier does the watching!

It's part of the process of managing hoof care!
You are not a Veterinarian and you are not diagnosing or treating injury/lameness. How can walking a Horse walk give a complete picture- other diagnostics are needed- Xrays, bloodwork, manipulation. Diagnostics that require a Veterinary license in order to interpret and treat.
Walking or trotting a horse up checks that it's leaving at least as good, or better than it was when it arrived!
Let's say you rendered services and walked away having caused no harm, horse was fine, and you're dealing with a crazy person who is blaming you. Most people are testing you if they bring up negligence and suit, etc. Ignore. They will likely disappear if you keep your cool. Like I said, crazy people.
What a cynical attitude to customers! And trust me, I can be a cynical old git! And as cynical as the next man!
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 08:16 #5

  • Peters Shoeing
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It could be argued in many ways. You have valid points. I think negligence is very hard to prove though. The "walk" could be argued as determining if there is any injury or problem that should require a Veterinary perspective. This is a very inetersting topic. Anything is possible in the court of law.

I didnt mean to be cynical, I was moreso talking about scams. I honestly believe that a real situation like that requires that the Farrier and Vet go out to see the Horse together, if the farrier was neglectful- he should make it right.
Alan Peters
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 12:13 #6

  • vthorseshoe
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My first thought is what is your experience as a farrier ?

The fact that you have brought up this questions, even though you may say it isn't you or hasn't happened to you, just wondering what to say, leads me to wonder.

I don't know so will take you at your word .

If you don't feel confident in your ability then it will show and open the door to another person who thinks they might get away with something.

I believe in walking a horse prior to working on it for a number of reasons.

1. If a lameness is present then you should immediately be looking for the cause and making decisions whether to work on this animal or have them call a vet.
2. While the animal is walking I am asking a lot of questions of the owner or person representing the horse. This also helps me make decisions Prior to working on said horse.
3. I am watching the horses deminour so i can be prepared to handle the animal or cautuiously do so should I choose to work on said horse.

All this takes less than 5 to 10 minutes and could or should give you a lot of answers about the animal PRIOR to starting to work on it.

We are not vets, BUT if you have been handling horses and have good experience as a farrier then you should be able to recognise such things in this manner....

1. slide your hand down the leg as you go to pick it up. Let you mind and your fingers feel for any abnormalities/blemishes.
2. Look at the whole horse walking and standing. Does anything standout that draws your attention ?
A cocked ankle.. a slight limp maybe detected by a dropping hip or shoulder or a bobbing of the head during movement...
Swelling in a joint or leg area..
Feeling for signs of ringbone side bone.

And it goes on.. ALL this is an unconcious normal habit that an experienced farrier does without even thinking prior and as he/she begins to work with or on a horse. EXPERIENCE...

Why do I bother to go into this detail ? Because it is habits like this that we use to prevent setting us up for a person reacting with a lawsuit or evwen just bad mouthing us ...

Accidents happen... A hot nail occassionally, a slip of the knife occassionally...quicking a horse can be caused by many things.. a jerking leg,.. pulling away,.. an inexperienced farrier nailing into a thin walled horse,... etc.....

My advice to preventing the senerio you posted about is "Learn the trade and learn or practice something everyday ... No one knows it all... Not even the biggest names in the industry will tell you they know it all. They learn something good or bad all the time...

Knowledge and experience is the best prevenative action anyone can ever take... Its not a cure all but it will give you a more acceptable leg to stand on should a problem arise...

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 12:54 #7

  • Rick Burten
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Perhaps I've become jaded but if someone were to call me and threaten me with a lawsuit, I'd just give them my attorney's name and phone number and end the conversation.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 15:19 #8

  • ThomasRideandDrive
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Rick Burten wrote:
Perhaps I've become jaded but if someone were to call me and threaten me with a lawsuit, I'd just give them my attorney's name and phone number and end the conversation.
Jaded you :rolleyes: never ;)

Heck IF someone phoned me full of bluster from the get go and threatening lawsuits I'd likely do just the same and dependent on my mood and who they were, but the scenario we were given was
a few days later the customer calls and says "my horse is three legged lame and its your fault..." what do you say? do?

I always prefer to start with trying to sort out a problem and that's taken into account that I'm cynical, jaded and that litigation doesn't really hold much of a threat whatsoever!
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 18:27 #9

  • david a hall
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I would ask my insurance broker for a claim form :D isnt that what you would do Alan?
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 19:30 #10

  • michaelgalik
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i only ask about walkin a horse because there are times where an owner walks up with one horse then as your workin on that one, theyll tie up the others.. if they are regular clients you know allot about a particular horse.. if they are new clients then of corse you "listen".. clients sometimes will tell you allot,,, even a little more than youd like to sometimes.

every horse i work on i formulate a plan..what are we trying to accomplish?
is there any issues we need to address? and of corse i try to keep aware of any annomolies i might find. but i dont ever think of, "is this horses lameness going to blamed on me just because im the last one to touch his feet"?

A little about me... i went to school in tucumcari NM, under Eddy Marris. graduated in dec 2010.... seems ive learned a whole lot more after i graduated.. as i got into different situations i was forced to find answers and do allot of research..now being on my own im responsible for knowing what to do. im supost to be the expert.. right.. the more i learn the more excited i get...and the more i realise how much i dont know.... i dont clame to know it all..but there is nothing i cannot find the answer to.. i try to surround myself with the best knowlegable farriers that i can. so when i run into unfimiliar problems i pull out my phone and make a few calls..

i bring up this topic because it is a real possibility, and i dont want to be cluless on what i should do...

thank you for your responces.... it has opened my eyes a little bit
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 19:48 #11

  • michaelgalik
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another reason why i brought up this topic...

as some of you know i broke my leg recently and have been unable to shoe any ponies.. one of my out of town clients called a little upset saying that the new farrier left her horse three legged lame two days befor the fair...
client called another farrier to see what he could do.. he said the front feet were at a 60 degree angle and the shoes were crooked... horse is fine now i guess..i never did get an answer to exactly why the horse couldnt walk..

i got to thinking, what if i was the one that got blamed for laming a poney before a fair.... what would happen if they thretened to sue..

somethin i do do is drop a client even if they mention the words sue or lawyer.. ( ha ha i said do do)


what kind of insurance does a guy need?? other than health..
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RE:if someone wants to sue?? 12 Sep 2011 20:09 #12

  • david a hall
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michaelgalik wrote:
another reason why i brought up this topic...

as some of you know i broke my leg recently and have been unable to shoe any ponies.. one of my out of town clients called a little upset saying that the new farrier left her horse three legged lame two days befor the fair...
client called another farrier to see what he could do.. he said the front feet were at a 60 degree angle and the shoes were crooked... horse is fine now i guess..i never did get an answer to exactly why the horse couldnt walk..

i got to thinking, what if i was the one that got blamed for laming a poney before a fair.... what would happen if they thretened to sue..

somethin i do do is drop a client even if they mention the words sue or lawyer.. ( ha ha i said do do)


what kind of insurance does a guy need?? other than health..

liability insurance
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