The City of New Orleans is known for its eccentric, vibrant and welcoming attractions; but with fun comes human error. Tourists come to the city with one thing in mind, partying! On July 30th, tourists were partaking in an infamous tour of the city when a vehicle collided with a mule-drawn carriage in the French Quarter. News outlets reported the vehicle was going at a high speed when the driver turned the corner and exerted so much force that the carriage overturned.
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Of the injured, three adults and a child were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to WWLTV. While the driver will likely be held responsible for the damages, many locals can attest that sometimes carriages do not always obey the traffic signals. According to the NOPD, the incident is considered an ongoing investigation.
Carriage rides are an attraction all over the United States. In New Orleans, horse and carriage rides date back to the 19th century. Along with the good comes the bad, as the mule-drawn rides have been the subject of countless lawsuits. In an effort to shield sponsors of farm animal activities from liability, Louisiana has enacted a special statute referred to among those in the legal community as the “farm animal immunity” statute. You can read the full text of the statute here.
In a nutshell, the farm animal immunity statute, LA R.S. 9:2795.1 (B), provides a farm animal activity sponsor shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of a farm animal activity and, no participant or participant’s representative, shall make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from a farm animal activity sponsor, a farm animal professional, or any other person for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of farm animal activities. This statute is not unique to Louisiana, several other states have similar immunity statutes. The practical effect of these statutes is to pronounce that farm animal activity sponsors do not have a duty to protect from inherent or unavoidable risks of equine activities of which should be obvious to the participants.
The seasoned attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have represented a client that was injured while riding in a mule-drawn carriage. In that personal injury case, a 57-year-old passenger was a tourist enjoying a carriage ride near Jackson Square and Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, when the mule pulling the carriage got spooked and took off running, causing the carriage to hit a large planter. The owner and operator argued they were not liable to the passenger for her injuries citing the farm animal immunity statute.
The attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm argued the farm animal immunity statute did not apply because the statute did not provide immunity for negligence. The Cardone Law Firm asserted the carriage operator was negligent in failing to control the carriage and the mule which caused the injuries to the passenger. The attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm also argued the passenger did not qualify as a “participant” under the immunity statute. In light of these novel arguments, the Cardone Law Firm was able to secure a successful result on behalf of their client and secure her just compensation for her injuries.
Louisiana’s special statutes, like the farm animal immunity statute, can be hard to maneuver around. When you consult the attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm, we assess your case to the fullest extent and work hard to obtain a favorable result despite laws which may initially seem to hinder your case. The hardworking accident attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have extensive experience representing injured people and are here to help you put on a strong case. For your confidential consultation, contact us online or by phone at 504-522-3333.