Girl, Age 9, Kicked by Wandering Mule still Faces a Long Road to Recovery

Emma-Johnson kicked by mule As a follow up to the blog that I posted February 13, 2014 titled Owners’ Responsibility to keep their Animals on their own Premises to avoid Injuries and Deaths in Georgia , a young girl of age 9, Emma Carolina Johnson, was kicked in the head in Cherokee County Georgia by a mule who had escaped into a neighbor’s pasture where Emma was innocently carrying a bucket of feed.  She was kicked in the head and knocked unconscious by said mule.

Fortunately, Emma is a strong little girl and is recovering.  Unfortunately, her recovery is long, and the Cherokee County Marshall’s Office stated that, although the owners of the mules fence was washed away due to rain, that the owners would not be held criminally liable in the incident since there was no negligence on the part of the owners.

I understand that the Cherokee County Marshall can make a decision not to hold the owners of the mules criminally liable.  The Cherokee County Marshall, however, does not decide whether or not the owners of the mules should be held liable in a civil action for negligence under Georgia Law as I have described in my last blog.  This is the very type of situation where it is imperative that owners of any kind of animal whether it be livestock, domestic animals whether such animals do or don’t have a vicious propensity, keep their animals on the owners or keepers own property for the safety of others as well as the animals.


Owners’ Responsibility to keep their Animals on their own Premises to avoid Injuries and Deaths in Georgia

Cow in the roadwayOn December 29, 2013 a new bride from Ballground, Georgia, just North of Canton, GA, Kali Dobson Quinton, was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Ryan Quinton, after their wedding that day when Ryan swerved to avoid a dog in the roadway whereby the car overturned ejecting Ms. Quinton, age 25, and killing her at the scene after being trapped under the vehicle when it came to rest.  This is a senseless tragedy and the end of a young woman’s life who had everything to look forward to after her wedding day. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Ms. Quinton.

This accident could have been avoided if the owner of the dog kept the dog on the premises in accordance with Georgia Law.  Although O.C.G.A. Section 4-8-29 addresses Limitations of a dog’s presence off of the owner’s premises for vicious animals, it could be argued that any dog off the premises of the owner or keeper that causes an injury or, in this tragic case, a Death, that the owner or keeper could ultimately be held liable for the injury or death caused by the animal off the premises of the owner or keeper.  To read more about this terrible tragedy you may find the story in the Cherokee Ledger.

In rural areas such as Canton, GA we have many farms with livestock.  Georgia Law O.C.G.A. Section 4-3-3 addresses the issues surrounding the Owner’s Responsibility for permitting such livestock to run at large or stray, and O.C.G.A. Section 4-3-4 addresses the Impoundment of live stock running at large or straying.  Georgia Law O.C.G.A. Section 51-2-6 addresses the Liability of the owner or keeper of a dog for damages done to livestock while off of his or her premises.  I argue that this could extend to damage to people as well as livestock under Georgia Law such as in the case described above.