2020 Georgia Code
Title 4 - Animals
Chapter 12 - Injuries From Equine, Livestock, or Llama Activities
§ 4-12-4. Warning Required; Effect of Failure to Comply With Notice Requirement

Universal Citation: GA Code § 4-12-4 (2020)
  1. Every equine professional and every equine activity sponsor shall post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section. Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location on or near stables, corrals, or arenas where the equine professional or the equine activity sponsor conducts equine activities. The warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section shall appear on the sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height. Every written contract entered into by an equine professional or by an equine activity sponsor for the providing of professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment or tack or an equine to a participant, whether or not the contract involves equine activities on the business location or site of the equine professional or the equine activity sponsor, shall contain in clearly readable print the warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section.

    Under Georgia law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of animal activities, pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

(b) The signs and contracts described in subsection (a) of this Code section shall contain language substantially similar to the following warning notice:

WARNING

Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this Code section shall prevent an equine activity sponsor or equine professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this chapter.

(Code 1981, §4-12-4, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 680, § 1; Ga. L. 2017, p. 134, § 1/HB 50.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted "on the business location or site of the equine professional or the equine activity sponsor" for "on or off the location or site of the equine professional's or the equine activity sponsor's business" in the last sentence of subsection (a); inserted "language substantially similar to" in the introductory paragraph of subsection (b); and substituted "animal activities" for "equine activities" near the end of the "Warning". See Editor's notes for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 134, § 2/HB 50, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall not apply to any cause of action arising prior to July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Finding of substantial compliance.

- Because the unique circumstances of fox hunting were not expressly contemplated by the Injuries From Equine Activities Act, substantial compliance with the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 4-12-4 was found when the sponsor of a hunt posted signs at the clubhouse and at various locations at which the hunt frequently met, and on a vehicle windshield at the place where the hunt met on the day in question, and when the text of the warning sign was contained in a release signed by the plaintiff. Muller v. English, 221 Ga. App. 672, 472 S.E.2d 448 (1996).

Warning in compliance.

- Rider's injuries, sustained when a portion of a hitching rail to which a horse was tied became detached and fell on the rider after the horse became spooked, resulted from the "inherent risks of equine activities," as provided in O.C.G.A. § 4-12-2(7) and, thus, were in the scope of the Injuries from Equine or Llama Activities Act. The release signed by the mother contained the warning required by O.C.G.A. § 4-12-4. Mays v. Valley View Ranch, Inc., 317 Ga. App. 143, 730 S.E.2d 592 (2012), cert. denied, No. S12C1980, 2012 Ga. LEXIS 980 (Ga. 2012).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of statutory exemptions from liability for persons injured by equine or equestrian activities, 79 A.L.R.6th 487.

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