Mirvahedy v Henley [2003] House of Lords

Mr Mirvahedy was a hotel manager working in South Devon.  He was driving home from work along the A380 when his car collided with a horse which ran across the road. 

In the collision he suffered serious injuries and brought a negligence claim saying the Henleys (keepers of the horse) had not fenced the field properly and this allowed the horse to get out.  The Court rejected that claim but it was alleged that the Henleys were still liable for the damage caused by their runaway horse under the Animals Act 1971, even if they had done all they could to make sure the fencing was adequate.  The Court of Appeal and the House of Lords upheld "strict liability” against the Henleys.  They said Section 2 (2) provided two separate elements of liability.  The keeper of the horse could be liable where the behaviour is not normally found in animals of the same species and a keeper could also be liable where their behaviour, although not generally displayed by animals of that species, was normal in particular circumstances or at particular times. 

Kelvin Farmaner represented the successful party in the case of Mirvahedy v Henley before both the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.

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