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A Better Partnership
June 11, 2014

MSC finds that farm owner is not liable for horse elopement where farm was under control of control of another party

In Estate of Scholberg v. Truman, the Michigan Supreme Court evaluated whether the owners of a farm could be liable under a public nuisance theory where a horse escaped from the farm and caused a fatal accident.  In this case, the defendants were title owners of the farm, however, another party actually possessed the property and exercised control over the farm.  The Court held that mere ownership was insufficient to create liability for a public nuisance.  In a partial dissent, Justice Viviano agreed that control was the relevant question, but found that there was a question of fact on the issue of whether the owners were absentee, or whether they exercised control over the property.    

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