Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sutton v. Sutton case brief (Animal Law/Torts)

Sutton v. Sutton case brief summary
145 Ga. App. 22

SYNOPSIS: Defendant animal owner challenged an order from the Berrien Superior Court (Georgia), which entered the jury's verdict in favor of plaintiff in a negligence action.

-The animal owner invited plaintiff, who was the animal owner's son, to assist in catching a loose bull.
-Shortly after his arrival, plaintiff was charged by the bull and injured.
-The animal owner failed to advise plaintiff that the bull was easily enraged.
-On appeal, the court held that plaintiff was an invitee of the animal owner, and not a social visitor.

-The court concluded that the animal owner had a duty under Ga. Code Ann. § 105-401 as a landowner to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises safe and was liable for risks upon the premises in the nature of vicious animals likely to inflict harm upon invitees.

-The court found also that that the animal owner was liable under Ga. Code Ann. § 105-110 to invitees who sustained injury as the result of the vicious or dangerous propensity of the animal if the animal owner knew of the animal's vicious or dangerous character.
-The court determined that the animal owner knew of the bull's dangerous character.
-The court concluded that plaintiff did not know of the danger posed by the bull and the jury's determination that the doctrine of assumption of risk was inapplicable was supported by the evidence.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the trial court's judgment.

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