The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Woman Bucked From Horse Files Suit

It's possible that Cookie the horse just had a bad day, but Michelle Welty believes the equestrian center is to blame for injuries she sustained after Cookie threw Welty from her mount (Chicago Bar-Tender).

The incident happened on July 3, 2009. Welty was an inexperienced rider at the time and notified Forest View Farms personnel of that fact, the complaint states. But she claims they assigned her a "difficult" horse, nevertheless.

"Cookie" stopped to eat grass repeatedly throughout the ride (horses love grass, so that shouldn't be too surprising), she claims, but the lead rider just told Welty to pull on the reins whenever that happened. The suit points out that the lead rider was under the age of 18 years and thus too inexperienced for such a responsibility.

So after pulling the reigns repeatedly, per the lead rider's instructions, Welty claims Cookie bucked and threw her. "As a result of the horse throwing the plaintiff to the ground, the plaintiff ... incurred severe injuries to her left hand and a closed head injury," the complaint claims.

Accidents happen, but Welty claims Forest View Farms is liable for various "willful and wanton acts/or omissions."

Essentially, she believes the facility should have matched her with a more calm and obedient horse, given her lack of experience. 

Chicago injury attorney Thomas Cameli is seeking damages "in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional amount plus costs of suit" for his client, Welty.