Reps. Brunner and Smiley Vote No on Equine Liability Bill

Legislators act to protect Michiganders from negligent equine operators
Thursday, March 21, 2013

LANSING – State Representatives Charles Brunner (D-Bay City) and Charles Smiley (D-Burton) voted against a bill yesterday that would make it more difficult for those injured by way of equine activity to prove negligence on behalf of the horse or facility owner. HB 4126, a reintroduction of a bill that failed to pass the Senate last term, seeks to amend the Equine Activity Liability Act of 1994. The bill would protect equine operations at the expense of recreational riders who become injured by the operator’s negligence.

“There are already extremely high standards in proving an equine operator’s negligence if a rider is injured,” said Brunner. “This bill would only make negligence more difficult to prove, protecting businesses from mistakes that cause harm to their clients.”

This bill is one more example of how the Republicans are attempting to move legislation that is harmful to every-day Michigan residents. There is no reason to make it easier for equine operators to act negligently and get away with it. It is simply harmful to Michiganders.

“There are more important issues to be focusing on in the Legislature right now,” Smiley said. “As legislators, it is our job to make sure Michigan’s laws protect Michigan residents, not those who put our residents in harm’s way.”