Bailey & Wyant, PLLC of Counsel, Abbie Dunn obtained summary judgment in a personal injury case involving a claim by a professed horse trainer who was hired on a temporary basis to work at a local horse barn. The trainer fell off of a horse that the trainer was working, resulting in the trainer breaking his ankle. The trainer contended that his employer provided an unsafe place to work by requiring the trainer to ride/train the horse that bucked the trainer off, without supervision by the employer. As such, the trainer sought to find his employer liable for the trainer's injury.
The Court relied upon the Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act of the West Virginia Code. W. Va. Code § 20-4-1, et seq. The Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act provides immunity to horsemen absent specific circumstances associated with the activity; none of which applied in this case. The Court held that the Plaintiff assumed the risk of the conduct in riding the horse and our client, the employer, could not be held liable for having created an unsafe workplace as the employer was provided immunity under the law.