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Fresch & Smith Prevail on Summary Judgment in Equine Lawsuit

Selman Breitman LLP attorneys Elaine K. Fresch, head of the firm's Equine Law practice, and Melanie M. Smith prevailed on summary judgment motion in an equine lawsuit (Showalter v. Los Angeles County, et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC611185). Plaintiff, an experienced racehorse trainer, alleged he was injured by a loose racehorse owned by Selman Breitman's client during a racehorse auction at the Fairplex facility in Pomona, asserting the horse had dangerous propensities. Plaintiff further claimed that the firm's client, also a professional racehorse trainer, failed to properly supervise and exercise control over the horse when the horse unseated its rider during work (pre-auction exercise on the racetrack). Plaintiff sought damages in excess of $250,000.

Elaine and Melanie brought the summary judgment motion on the grounds that horses becoming loose are a common occurrence at horse auctions, and that there was no evidence of a dangerous propensity prior to the incident, and therefore their client could not have been negligent.  The trial court agreed, and determined based on the evidence submitted, in support of the motion that the firm's client did not breach his duty of care to plaintiff, and the motion was granted.  The parties agreed that Selman Breitman's client, the prevailing party, would bear his own costs in exchange for plaintiff's agreement not to appeal the ruling.

For more information about this case, or its implications, please contact Elaine or Melanie, contact information below.


Selman Breitman provides this information for educational purposes. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. This information should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship.