From CourthouseNews.com, Jeff D. Gorman, 16 Jun 2011.
(CN) – The fact that a man worked for a bull owner does not preclude him from suing under an animal-control law after that bull injured him, an Illinois appeals court ruled.
James Kindel sued his employer, Tennis Dairy Farms, for two counts of negligence and three counts of violation of the Illinois Animal Control Act (IACA).
The trial court dismissed the IACA claims, ruling that the Illinois Legislature did not intend to apply the IACA to employees.
A panel of judges for the Mt. Vernon-based Fifth District Illinois Court of Appeals disagreed and remanded the case for further proceedings.
“To prevail on a claim under the Act, a plaintiff must prove the following: (1) an injury caused by an animal owned by the defendant; (2) lack of provocation; (3) the peaceable conduct of the injured person; and (4) the presence of the injured person in a place where he has a legal right to be,” Justice Stephen Spomer wrote for the court.
“There is no case law that holds that the employee of an owner of an animal is per se barred from recovery by the Act,” he added.