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Limiting your horse liability under Minnesota law

  • Use written contracts for any horse-related agreement.

  • Make sure written agreements are specific and address each applicable risk.

  • Work with an attorney to make sure your agreement language can be enforced under Minnesota law.

  • Having the proper insurance can protect you and your assets if someone files a lawsuit against you.

This article is for informational purposes only and doesn’t provide legal advice.

Using written agreements to limit your liability

One of the best ways to limit your liability is to use written agreements for

  • Releases of liability

  • Sales and leases

  • Boarding

  • Employment

  • Training

Make sure your written agreements match your aim and can be enforced under law.    

Under Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 604.055, Subd. 1.):

  • An agreement that aims to release, limit or waive a party’s liability resulting from behavior that amounts to “greater than ordinary negligence” is against public policy, void and not enforceable.

  • A party can agree to release, limit or waive liability for damage, injury or death resulting from “ordinary negligence or for risks that are inherent to a particular activity.” Those involved in horse-related activities are legally allowed and thus should always use releases to protect themselves from these risks.

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Suzanne Jones and Yvonne Ocrant, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

Reviewed in 2018

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