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$________ Negligent horseback riding lessons – Plaintiff thrown from horse – Multiple pelvic and rib fractures – Punctured lung – Tracheotomy – Defendant in default.

Pinellas County, FL

The plaintiff was a 75-year-old female taking therapeutic equestrian riding lessons with the defendant, when she was thrown from a horse and sustained serious injuries. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was negligent in failing to supervise and protect the plaintiff during the lessons, and failing to evaluate her lack of experiences with horses. The defendant was in default, and the case proceeded on the issue of damages only.

The plaintiff had previously taken therapeutic riding lessons in New Hampshire where she resided. While on vacation in Florida she sought to continue the lessons, and therefore, contacted the defendant. The plaintiff’s prior riding lessons consisted of being led while sitting on a walking horse, according to testimony offered.

The plaintiff contended that on her first riding lesson with the defendant, she was placed on a horse and the horse was walked around with the defendant holding the reins. However, on the second lesson on February 16, ________, the plaintiff maintained that the defendant sat down to eat lunch and left her alone on the horse.

When the plaintiff attempted to turn the horse, she claimed it reared up and threw her to the ground. The plaintiff was diagnosed with multiple fractures to her pelvis and multiple rib fractures as a result of the fall. She also sustained a punctured lung and internal bleeding of the pelvic artery. The plaintiff’s dropping blood pressure and breathing difficulties required performance of a tracheotomy. She was placed in a medically-induced coma and remained hospitalized for several months. The plaintiff currently requires continuous oxygen and claimed a complete loss of independence as a result of the injuries sustained.The jury awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages. Collection efforts are currently underway.

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