New Legal Precedent for Sellers of Horses
Friday, September 11, 2009
After a two week trial in a San Diego courtroom involving the sale and pre-purchase exam of a horse, a California jury found a hunter/jumper trainer, and their seller -client, liable for Fraud in failing to disclose steroid injections and a history of lameness of the purchased horse to the buyer. The plaintiffs were awarded the purchase price of the horse, and costs for subsequent care and treatment , and given punitive damages as a result of the seller and her agents handling of the transaction. The plaintiff, a well known actor in California was awarded more than $187,000 for a horse he was reported to have purchased for $120,000 after a jury agreed that he was tricked into buying a lame horse.
This case sets a new legal precedent in that the court applied the same ''duty to disclose'' known problems that the law imposes on sellers and agents in real estate transactions. Under the rulings of the case, sellers will be charged with any misrepresentations made by their agents to the buyers vet and/ or agent as well, if the buyer relied on them. Further, sellers with be imputed with knowledge of any and all veterinary work performed on a horse they own and offer for sale. This case underscores the need for sellers and agents to make full disclosure of known soundness issues in horse sales transactions
For further information or analysis of the case, contact Rebecca Luna