Who's responsible when livestock cause personal damage? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Who's responsible when livestock cause personal damage?

Source: MHP Source: MHP
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
CANTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

More information is being learned about a crash that left one man dead and his wife in the hospital.

This is the crash that happened just after 9:30 on Sunday night. Five horses escaped from a nearby farm and were standing on Highway 43.

READ MORE: Man dead, wife critical after car hits and kills 5 horses

According to a Mississippi Law put on the books back in the 50's, owners of livestock that are found of federal and state highways will be responsible for any damages their animals cause as a result of a wreck, a loss of life, or bodily injury.

Since this crash did happen on Mississippi Highway 43, personal injury lawyer Rocky Wilkins says that alone should be enough to hold horse owner Madison County Tax Collector Kay Pace responsible for the crash.

RELATED: Deadly crash involving horses under investigation

"The state law that puts liability on a livestock owner has a special condition," Williams explained. "It has to be on a state highway, so if you are just on a city street or you know a county road, I think, you might be able to get out on a technicality but that doesn't look like it applies to here because it was Highway 43 in Canton."

According to the law, if a lawsuit does come out of this, Pace and her attorney will be responsible for proving a lack of negligence. 

"What they try to say is, 'well we had measures put up that were reasonable whether we checked the fence once a week or we had video surveillance to make sure that the livestock or horses couldn't get out'," said Williams. "That's just the defense, it doesn't mean it would get them out of the case."

Mississippi Highway Patrol says they were told someone at the farm was feeding the horses earlier that day and accidentally left the gate open after they were done.

At the end of the day, it will be up to family whether or not they'll sue Pace.

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