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More Pigs (and Cows) and the Law


An Oregon county law library colleague found the “pig” case we were looking for (previous pig post), except it turns out to be cows, not pigs – yoinks!

(In everyone’s defense, the students thought they were looking for a case about foreseeability or proximate cause, not res ipsa loquitur – and a pig and a gate and The Law – or so their instructors told them.)

From my colleague: “Perhaps we are seeking the wrong barnyard animal? There is a similar Tillamook County case involving a cow and an open gate: Watzig v Tobin, 292 Or 645 (1982) 50 Or App 539 (1981).”

The Facts of the case, as stated by Judge Peterson, are worth quoting:

It was after midnight. The plaintiff was driving north on highway 101 near Tillamook. She saw a cow on the side of the highway. She slowed, went around the animal, and as she did so she saw a second cow which she ran into. Both cows belonged to the defendants and had escaped from their farm.

There were three gates to the barnyard where the cows were confined. Two of the three gates were permanently secured with rope and wire, so securely that in order to open them “you just about had to have wire cutters.” The third gate, through which cows had escaped in the past, had been equipped with a “cable clamp” device several months before the accident….”

And, on the Recent Pig Front:

Then there is this recent story from the ABA Journal Law News Now:
Pet Sitter Gets Probation in Cruelty Case Over Too-Fat Pig, posted Apr 14, 2009, by Martha Neil

Excerpt: “Agreeing with the owner of a potbellied pig that a pet sitter abused the animal by letting it go hog wild at mealtimes and in between, a judge in Minnesota has sentenced the sitter to one year of probation for animal cruelty….” (link to full article)

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