Work To Ride Inc. is a celebrated philanthropic program in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park meant to give at-risk urban kids experience working with horses. Now a jury has awarded $2.36 million against the program to a boy whose jaw was broken when a horse kicked him in the face while being loaded into a trailer. There was some dispute over the circumstances:
Both the plaintiffs and defense papers said that [plaintiff] Williams hit the horse with a stick on the hindquarters and the horse kicked Williams in the face after being hit with the stick. But the plaintiffs said Williams was asked by [program employee] Shuler to use the stick on the horse’s hindquarters to get the horse to go onto the trailer. And the defense said that Williams hit the horse without any instruction from Shuler, Shuler commanded Williams to not hit the horse and Williams then hit the horse a second time in defiance of Shuler’s command.
The jury attributed 10 percent of the negligent responsibility to Williams, who was 12 at the time of the accident, and 90 percent to Work To Ride. Work To Ride’s insurance limit is $1 million, and plaintiffs are talking about going after its insurer, Lloyds, for the remainder on a bad faith theory. [Amaris Elliott-Engel, Legal Intelligencer]