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Torts Keyed to Duncan
Irvine v. Rare Feline Breeding Co.
Citation:685 N.E.2d 120 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997)
Mosella Schaffer (defendant), who lived on a 50-acre farm raising exotic animals, rented a room in her garage to Scott Bullington. Bullington told his friend, Scott Irvine (plaintiff), about the animals, and the defendant gave the plaintiff an open invitaiton to visit many times over the next two years. During these visits, the plaintiff and others would pet the tigers through the fence. One night, the plaintiff consumed alcohol with Bullington and then went to visit the animals while Bullington went to a Christmas party. While petting a tiger through the fence, the tiger pulled his arm through the fence. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries and underwent six surgeries. The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence, strict liability, nuisance, and punitive damages. The plaintiff then moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that assumption of risk and other similar defenses are not available in a strict liability animal case.
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