Michigan Supreme Court Limits Liability in Horse-Car Crash

June 13, 2014

The owners of a farm aren’t liable in a fatal wreck involving a driver whose car hit a horse on the loose in northern Michigan.

Robert and Marilyn Truman own the property in Emmet County’s Friendship Township, but they don’t operate the horse farm. The Michigan Supreme Court says it’s an important distinction in a lawsuit filed by the family of Terri Sholberg.

Sholberg died in 2010 after her car hit a horse standing in the road. The horse was behind a gate, but the gate was closed only with baling twine.

The Supreme Court this week says owners of real estate can’t be held liable for a public nuisance when someone else controls the property and creates the nuisance.

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