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11/22/96 ALICIA MEYER v. NAPERVILLE MANNER

November 22, 1996

ALICIA MEYER, A MINOR, BY JOHN MEYER AND EILEEN MEYER, HER PARENTS AND NEXT FRIENDS, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
NAPERVILLE MANNER, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 92--L--582. Honorable Edward R. Duncan, Jr., Judge, Presiding.

As Corrected. Rehearing Denied January 8, 1997. Released for Publication January 8, 1997.

The Honorable Justice Rathje delivered the opinion of the court. Bowman and Doyle, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rathje

JUSTICE RATHJE delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiff, Alicia Meyer, a minor, filed an amended two-count complaint against the defendant, Naperville Manner, Inc., seeking damages suffered when she fell from a horse at the defendant's horseback riding academy. Count I of the amended complaint alleged a cause of action under the Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/16 (West 1992)). Count II alleged a common-law negligence cause of action. Pursuant to the defendant's motion for summary judgment, the trial court dismissed count I of the amended complaint. On appeal, this court affirmed the dismissal of count I but remanded the cause for further proceedings on the negligence claim alleged in count II. Meyer v. Naperville Manner, Inc., 262 Ill. App. 3d 141, 199 Ill. Dec. 572, 634 N.E.2d 411 (1994).

In count II of her amended complaint, the plaintiff alleged the following acts of negligence by the defendant:

"(a) Failed to warn the Plaintiff that the riding technique she had previously learned was dangerous to use with Defendant's horses;

(b) Promoted the Plaintiff from the status of 'beginner' through 'advanced' when she had not safely learned to manage Defendant's horses.

(c) Entrusted the safety of its child students to a 17-year-old instructor who had no training or instruction in teaching and no prior teaching experience."

The plaintiff further alleged that, as a result the above acts of negligence, the horse the plaintiff was riding ran away, causing her to fall and injure herself.

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis, inter alia, that plaintiff had failed to plead that the horse in this cause had a dangerous propensity to injure the plaintiff about which the defendant knew or should have known. The trial court granted the defendant's motion. This appeal followed.

On appeal the plaintiff raises the following issues: whether the amended complaint states a cause of action under Illinois law; and whether the pleadings and depositions on file reveal an issue of fact.

The plaintiff contends that she need not have alleged the dangerous propensities of the horse because her cause of action is based upon the negligence of the defendant in providing her with inadequate instruction, not upon the behavior of the horse. The plaintiff suggests that this court determine that a cause of action exists where a defendant is entrusted to teach and care for children safely and negligently fails to do so.

In support of her argument, the plaintiff relies on two out-of-state cases, Fantini v. Alexander, 172 N.J. Super. 105, 410 A.2d 1190 (1980), and Noland v. Colorado School of Trades, Inc., 153 Colo. 357, 386 P.2d 358 (Colo. 1963). Both cases involved suits based upon injuries suffered as the result of inadequate instruction. However, neither case involved a challenge as ...


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