Freedom Trails responds to lawsuit

A statement of defence was to the Yukon Supreme Court on Nov. 19.

The owners of a horse-riding therapy association and the land it uses have responded to a lawsuit from a woman alleging she was injured after the lift helping her to dismount a horse broke.

Judy Fortin, who owns the Freedom Trails Therapeutic Riding Association, and Andre Fortin, who co-owns the Freedom Trails property, filed a statement of defence to the Yukon Supreme Court on Nov. 19.

Elise Versa Estey filed a lawsuit against the Fortins in March. She alleges she suffered life-changing injuries after a lift that was assisting her with dismounting a horse in July 2018 following a therapy ride broke. Estey claims the subsequent fall to the ground left her with a fractured neck, spine and pelvis, and alleges that the Fortins’ negligence caused the accident.

In their statement of defence, the Fortins deny that Estey was injured, and that if she was, it was not their fault but that of the lift maker’s. The document also says Estey “voluntarily assumed the risk of using the premises,” and are asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed with legal costs awarded to them.

The lift maker, Tollos Inc., filed a statement of defence earlier this year also denying it was responsible for what happened.

Yukon courts

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