Our Client Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries When a Bull Attacks Him
In 2015, our client was seriously injured at a cattle auction facility when a bull attacked him. The incident happened when a customer of the facility was dropping off a cow to be sold at an auction that week. A single employee was the only person who was at the facility at the time. We learned more details once the lawsuit was filed, but at the time we were hired, we did not know when the cow had been brought up there or how long the employee had been trying to get it in. All we knew was that the employee had been unsuccessful in getting the bull into the pen, and the bull may have been tranquilized by the customer before she transported it there.
Our client was not an employee or customer of the facility. He was simply up there to deliver something to the employee, whom he knew. When our client was there, the employee asked him to help and try to get the bull into the pen. While the employee tried to coax the bull into an alleyway that led to the pen, he told our client to shut the gate behind the bull. When the client attempted to shut the gate, the bull turned around and hit the gate. The gate knocked our client back and left him alone in a confined area with a dangerous bull. The bull proceeded to attack and seriously injure our client.
Our client had to be life-flighted by helicopter to a local hospital. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with multiple serious injuries. The injuries included a broken hip, facial fractures, a collapsed lung, multiple rib fractures, a lacerated spleen, and a lacerated liver. Our client underwent three major surgeries to repair his injuries, including a hip replacement. He was in the hospital for nearly two weeks. When he was discharged, he had significant limitations and was in severe pain. He had to undergo physical therapy for many months and had multiple follow-up visits with various specialists. His total medical bills were over $300,000.
The Champion Firm Settles With the Bull Owner and Sues the Cattle Auction Facility
The owner of the bull had insurance, and her insurance company agreed to settle for the amount we demanded without having to file a lawsuit. The cattle auction facility, on the other hand, refused to settle. It claimed that it did nothing wrong, that our client was responsible for his own injuries because he voluntarily chose to help the employee, and that the bull owner was also to blame because she knew the bull was dangerous and did not warn anybody.
We filed the lawsuit against the company shortly after it refused to settle. In depositions of the company’s employees, including the one who asked our client to help, we uncovered evidence that showed they were negligent. In particular, this included evidence that the employee working that day knew the bull was dangerous because the bull’s owner had specifically warned him before he tried to unload it. We also obtained testimony that the employee working that day had called the owner for help, but the employee told him not to worry about it because our client showed up while they were on the phone. The employee told the owner he would just get our client to help him. Additional evidence showed the bull should have never been unloaded at this location in the first place. There was a separate location at the barn where aggressive or tranquilized animals were to be unloaded, which would have allowed the bull to be unloaded more safely without somebody having to get close to it.
The Cattle Auction Facility Agrees to Settle
Faced with the evidence against it, the cattle auction facility finally agreed to resolve the case after months of litigation. The case settled for a confidential amount following a lengthy mediation. Because of the details of the case and the fact that it is such a unique case, disclosing the amount may violate the confidentiality clause, even though the names of the parties are not disclosed.