This post addresses contract law in a horse case with Ridem.

Ridem C. Boy sold his prize quarterhorse gelding Go Softly to Mr. and Mrs. Greenacres for $2500. The registration papers for Go Softly showed that his sire and dame were both full-blooded quarterhouses, and that both had impressive family bloodlines. Go Softly, at age 7, was in his prime. In the process of the sale, Mr. and Mrs. Greenacres had met with Mr. Boy on multiple occasions–each time they had ridden Go Softly in Mr. Boy’s paddock and once on his trails. Each time they had had a very gentle and easy ride. Mr. Boy said that Go Softly was gentle and easy to ride, safe enough for city folk and hadn’t never bucked him yet. Mrs. Greenacre asked Mr. Boy if he thought Go Softly would ever buck her off and Mr. Boy said, I ain’t never seen him buck nobody.

The brochure online had a picture of Go Softly with a link to his registration papers. (However, the papers linked on his website were the wrong ones–they were the papers for Go Softly’s sister, who was born the year before him. Everything except for the birth date, gender and name were the same on his papers. Under the picture of Go Softly (showing him saddled in an English saddle) was the caption The gentle giant. A really nice horse for the money.

Two weeks after buying Go Softly, Mr. and Mrs. Greenacre were out riding together when Go Softly spooked at a pheasant which flew out of the brush and he bucked off Mr. Greenacre and kicked Mrs. Greenacre’s horse, Sissy, causing her to rear up and throw off Mrs. Greenacre. Both of the Greenacres suffered broken bones and serious injuries (over $20,000 in medical bills) and Sissy broke her leg and was put down. (Mrs. Greenacre had bought Sissy three years earlier for $4,000 and loved her like a daughter.)

  • Under what theories can Mr. and Mrs. Greenacre sue Mr. Boy? Will they win? What defenses will he have?
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