Matthew Krohn wins a defense verdict in a cattle owner liability lawsuit venued in Randolph County, Missouri at Moberly.
Plaintiffs, Vernon Fifield and Robyn Sly, husband and wife, brought suit against Defendants Wages for damages to Plaintiffs’ motor vehicle allegedly caused by Defendants calf which Plaintiffs claim they hit in the roadway.
Plaintiffs had been to a local bar during the afternoon and evening hours and left at approximately 9:00 p.m. Plaintiffs claimed Ms. Sly was driving, Fifield was a front seat passenger and Barger was a back seat passenger. Both Fifield and Barger conceded they were intoxicated.
Plaintiffs asserted that, upon arriving at the scene, Mrs. Wages admitted that she and her husband owned the calf. Plaintiffs also claimed that Mrs. Wages and Plaintiff Sly herded the calf back through a hole in the fence into the pasture leased by Defendants.
Plaintiffs initially claimed $3,000 property damage to their vehicle as well as $15,000 in emotional distress damages.
A key issue in the case was who was actually driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged collision. Plaintiffs were adamant that Ms. Sly was driving. Ms. Sly had not been drinking.
Mrs. Wages testified that she told Plaintiffs that if the calf was Defendants, they would take care of the damages, but that she would have to verify with her husband that the calf was theirs. She denied seeing any sign of a calf, much less driving one back in the pasture. The next morning, Mr. Wages checked his cattle. No cattle were missing or injured and the fences were in good shape. There were other cattle in the area enclosed by inferior fences. Mr. Wages produced sale barn records proving he did not own any cattle of the type described by Plaintiffs.