Part-time bus driver, Doug Muir, 48, has filed a civil action against Gayle Manginelli. The suit claims negligence by Manginelli in regards to his wife’s death. He is seeking compensatory damages. Muir is seeking damages from Manginelli “because of the severe anxiety and depression that his wife's death had caused her family.”
Barrister Trevor Monti, SC, represents Muir in the case. Monti told the court,
Mrs. [Deborah] Muir was 44 and a mother of three. She died in "pretty horrible circumstances" when struck in the chest by a double-barreled kick from the thoroughbred, called Smoke.
A part-timer at the Geelong Target, Mrs. Muir, and four other women visited with Manginelli to spend a girls’ weekend in Paraparap riding horses. The owners of the Paraparap property were away for the weekend and Manginelli, their close friend, had use of the property
After their barbecue lunch, the women planned a ride to the nearby dam. On the way, Bree, the horse Muir was riding began acting up. This forced her to take Bree away from the other horses to get her back under control. It was then that Manginelli and her horse Smoke took the lead.
According to Monti, because Bree was acting up, Smoke also began to carry on, stopped walking and squealed in irritation. Smoke kicked out with both hind legs – aiming for Bree – but striking Muir in the chest instead, killing her. Everyone knew Smoke was not vicious but was a known kicker.
Monti claims that Manginelli had Smoke on a long lead at the time of the kick and, therefore, had less control of the horse. If Smoke had been under adequate control, the kick might have been avoided.
The Muir claim states:
Manginelli knew or ought to have known that Smoke had a tendency to kick; Smoke had a tendency to be unreliable and aggressive; Bree was fractious; Mrs Muir was having difficulty controlling Bree; Bree was toey; Bree was misbehaving and this behavior was likely to disturb the other horses including Smoke; Bree's misbehavior was likely to cause the other horses including Smoke to defend themselves against Bree; and if Bree got in close proximity to the other horses there was a high likelihood the other horses would kick.
As a consequence of the negligence of the defendant causing the death of the deceased, the plaintiff and his children have been deprived of her support and maintenance and the benefit of services received from the deceased during her lifetime and ... have suffered loss and damage.
This matter is being heard in a civil trial before Justice David Beach.
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