Archive for the ‘Kentucky’ Category

“Ring of Fear” Results in Death

November 7, 2007

Davis v. 3 Bar F Rodeo (Kentucky)
(Man Killed by Aggravated Bull at Rodeo; Release Signed by Decedent Precluded Negligence Liability Despite Failure to Post Proper Warnings Under Kentucky’s Farm Animals Activities Act; Triable Issues Existed as to Release and as to Whether Aggravating the Bull Amounted to “Gross Negligence”)

The decedent attended a rodeo, and he volunteered to participate in a game called the “Ring of Fear.” The game called for audience members to enter the rodeo ring and stand in marked circles on the ground. A bull was released into the ring, and the winner of the game was the last person standing inside his or her circle in the ring. The winner of the game won $50. The decedent entered the ring to try his luck at the game. It was alleged that before it was released, the bull was angered by someone jabbing him with a wooden object and beating sticks against his cage. After the bull was released, he charged and drove his head into the decedent’s abdomen, lifting him off the ground. After the game, the decedent made his way back into the stands, not knowing that his liver had burst as a result of the incident and that he was bleeding internally. The decedent faded into temporary unconsciousness and died the next morning.

Decedent’s wife brought a wrongful death action against the rodeo operators, alleging negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment based upon a release the decedent had signed prior to participating. The decedent’s wife filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, asserting that the defendants failed to properly warn her husband of the dangers of the “Ring of Fear” as required by Kentucky statutes as part of the Farm Animals Activities Act (“FAAA”). The trial court granted defendants’ summary judgment, finding that the release was sufficient to exempt them from liability, and the trial court denied plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff thereafter appealed.