Livestock Owner and Auto Driver Not Responsible For Injury to Passenger Arising From Accident With Mule

The plaintiff sued the driver of the car that struck a mule on a state highway and the owner of the mule for the injuries she sustained in the accident.  The evidence at trial revealed that the mule owner had never had problems with vandalism or trespassers and had not had animals escape at any time in the past.  The court granted summary judgment for the auto driver on the basis that the evidence supporting the plaintiff's claims of negligence were speculative in nature.  The fact that an accident occurred was insufficient, by itself, to establish the driver's negligence.  The court also upheld the trial court's award of summary judgment to the livestock owner, noting that the state (KS) statute does not require a livestock enclosure to ensure absolute security, but merely reasonable precautions.  It was mere speculation as to how the mules escaped.  Wilson v. McDaniel, et al., No. 109,898, 2014 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 509 (Kan. Ct. App. Jun. 27, 2014).