U.S. District Court, WDNY
Animal Owner Negligence
Hastings v. Sauve
Background: The plaintiff was injured when her vehicle hit a cow on a public road. The plaintiff brought an action against the cow’s owners and the property owner where the cow was kept. The claimant alleged that the fencing was in need of repair and the cow’s escape could have been prevented. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff appealed.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that the holding of Bard v. Jahnke, 6 NY3d 592 (2006), did not bar a suit for negligence when a farm animal has been allowed to stray from the property where it is kept. A landowner or the owner of an animal may be liable under ordinary tort-law principles.
Matthew H. McArdle for the appellants; John W. Vandenburgh for the respondent Sauve; Danielle N. Meyers for the respondent Delarm