my property is leased and the leasee has liability ins. this apparently happened in August of 2011 and I received a letter today. What do i do?
Your state is 1 of 4 states that does not have an Equine Activities Liability Protection Act which would have afforded you protection, although in Pennsylvania, notwithstading our act, I have successfully represented probably a hundred horseback riders injued while riding. Just turn the letter over to your insurance company and they will defend the case.
As indicated to you by the other responders, it is important that you notify your property liability insurance carrier immediately about the accident, and any papers you may have received because of it. I would recommend that any written correspondence you send to your carrier (or insurance broker) should be sent by certified mail return receipt requested, so that you can prove you gave "notice" of the accident and potential claim to the carrier/broker - should that become a question (of your prompt actions) at a later date. Again, you should send written notice to the Lessee who is operating the riding stables/business on your property, giving them notice of a claim being made against you by the woman. You should send a similar letter to the lessee's insurance company, and asking that carrier to provide a defense (at no cost to you) against this woman's claim. While you are at it, you may want to check the lease and/or contract you have with your lessee to see if there are any written portions that expressly state that the lessee has to "defend and indemnify" for any claims brought against you because of accident or injury related to the lessee's use or operation of/on your property. Any such writing will be helpful for you, or the attorneys your insurance company will assign to defend you, later.
Jeffrey I. Schwimmer, Esq.
20 Vesey Street - Suite 1200
New York, NY 10007
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