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Equine Liability: Related Statutes

Statute Name Citation Summary
AL - Equine - Immunity of those involved in equine activities.   AL ST 6-5-337   This Alabama statute embodies the legislature's recognition that persons who participate in equine activities may incur injuries as a result of the risks involved in those activities.  This statute provides that for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, and to encourage equine activities, civil liability of those involved in equine activities is limited by law.  Liability is not limited when the equine sponsor intentionally injures a participant or engages in willful or wanton behavior that causes injury or death.   
AR - Equine - Equine Activity Liability   AR ST 16-120-201 to 202   This Arkansas statute provides that an equine activity sponsor or an employee of an equine activity sponsor shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.  Liability is not limited when the equine agent knew the equipment or tack was faulty, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant, was aware of dangerous latent condition on the land that the equine agent owed or possessed, committed an act or omission that constituted willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, or when the owner or agent intentionally injured the participant.  Warning signs alerting participants to the assumption of risk in equine activities are also required by law.  
AZ - Equine Activity Liability Statute   AZ ST 12-553   This Arizona statute provides that an equine agent or owner is not liable for injury if the participant took control of the equine prior to injury, if a parent or guardian signed a release on behalf of a minor, if the owner or agent has properly installed suitable tack or the participant has personally tacked the equine, or the owner or agent assigns a suitable equine based on a reasonable interpretation of the person's representation of his or her skills, health and experience with and knowledge of equines.  Liability is not limited, however, when an equine owner or agent is grossly negligent or commits willful, wanton or intentional acts or omissions.  
CO - Equine Activity Liability Statute - Article 21. Damages.   CO ST 13-21-119   This Colorado statute embodies the intent of the general assembly to encourage equine activities and llama activities by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activities.  This section also contains specific provisions related to llama activities.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine or llama sponsor provided faulty equipment or tack, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the activity, owned or otherwise possessed the land upon which an injury occurred where there was a known latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.   
CT - Equine Activity Liability Statute - Chapter 925. Statutory Rights of Action and Defenses   CT ST 52-557p   This unusually short Connecticut statute limits the liability of equine sponsors by providing that each person engaged in recreational equestrian activities assumes the risk for any injury arising out of the hazards inherent in equestrian sports.  However, if the the injury was proximately caused by the negligence of the person providing the horse or by the failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity, liability if not limited by law.  
DE - Equine Activity Liability - 8140. CHAPTER 81. PERSONAL ACTIONS.   DE ST TI 10 8140   This Delaware statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.  Liability is not limited, however, when the equine professional knowingly used faulty tack, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage in the activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition which was known, commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, or intentionally injures the participant.  Equine professionals and sponsors are also required to post warning signs alerting the participants to the limitation of liability by law.  
IL - Equine Liability Act - Equine Activity Liability Act   IL ST CH 745 47/1 - 47/999  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or professional, or any other person, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
KY - Equine Activity Liability Statute - Chapter 247. Promotion of Agriculture and Horticulture. Farm Animal Activities.   KY ST 247.401 - 4029  

This Kentucky statute embodies the the legislative intent to encourage farm animal activities activities by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activities.  Statutory definitions are provided, including "inherent risks of farm animal activities" and "engages in farm animal activity."  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this section shall prevent a farm animal activity sponsor or farm animal professional from invoking the provisions of KRS 247.401 to 247.4029. 

 
KY - Horse - Chapter 189. Traffic Regulations   KY ST 189.510   This interesting Kentucky law provides that no person shall ride a horse, nor shall the owner of a horse consent to the racing of his horse, in a horse race on a highway.  
LA - Equine Activity Liability - 2795.1. Limitation of liability of farm animal activity sponsor or professional; exceptions; required warning   LA R.S. 9:2795.1 - 9:2795.3   The Louisiana law regarding equine activity liability is divided into two sections; one related to "farm animal activity" and one specific to "equine activity sponsors."  Both statutes have identical terms, save for the animal to which the statute pertains.  Under both, engaging in the farm animal or equine activity does not include being a spectator at a farm animal activity, except in cases where the spectator places himself in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the farm animal or equine activity.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law and any written contracts must include the statutory language provided.  Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning notices provided prevents a farm animal activity sponsor or equine sponsor from invoking the privilege of immunity provided by this section.  
MA - Equine Activity Liability Statute - Chapter 128. Agriculture.   MA ST 128 2D   This Massachusetts law provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.  The statute sets out several definitions related to equine activities, but specifically notes that the term "engage in an equine activity" shall not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator places himself in an unauthorized area or in immediate proximity to the equine activity.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.   
ME - Equine Liability - Chapter 743. Equine Activities   ME ST T. 7 4101 - 4103-A  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor, equine professional, or any other person engaged in an equine activity, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, as well as property damage, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  A person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
MI - Equine Liability - Chapter 691. Judiciary. Equine Activity Liability Act   MCLA 691.1661 - 1667   This statute sets out the liabilities for those that own and use horses: both commercial horse operations and horse shows. It limits liability of owners in certain circumstances.  
MI - Equine Liability Act - Chapter 691. Judiciary. Equine Activity Liability Act   MI ST 691.1661 - 1667  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or professional, or any other person, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person will be held liable for injuries if he or she commits a negligent act or omission that results in the proximate cause of injury or death, and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
MN - Equine Activity Liability - 604A.12. Livestock activities; immunity from liability.   MN ST 604A.12   This Minnesota statute comprises the state's equine activity liability statute.  The act is not limited to equines, but rather extends protection from liability to participants engaged in "livestock activities." It is important to note that this provision and exemption from liability applies only to non-profit entities. Liability is not limited where the livestock professional knowingly used faulty tack, the person failed to reasonable care to protect the participant from a known, human-made dangerous condition, the person is a livestock activity sponsor and fails to comply with the notice requirement, or the act or omission of the person was willful or negligent.   
MO - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 537. Torts and Actions for Damages.   MO ST 537.325  

This Missouri statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities and no participant shall make maintain an action against an equine operator.  Statutory definitions are provided, including "participant," "inherent risk," and who is considered an "equine sponsor" or "equine professional."  The term "engages in an equine activity" does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator places him or herself in an unauthorized area.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.

 
MS - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 11. Liability Exemption for Livestock Shows and Equine Activities   MS ST 95-11-1 to 95-11- 7  

This Mississippi statute embodies the the intent of the Legislature to encourage equine and livestock activities by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activities.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine or livestock activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.

 
MT - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 1. Availability of Remedies--Liability.   MT ST 27-1-725 to 27-1-728   The Montana equine activity liability act provides that it is the policy of the state of Montana that a person is not liable for damages sustained by another solely as a result of risks inherent in equine activities if those risks are or should be reasonably obvious, expected, or necessary to persons engaged in equine activities.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  
NC - Equine Activity Liability - Article 1. Equine Activity Liability   NC ST S 99E-1- 99E-3  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or equine professional, or any other person, including corporations and partnerships, are immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person, corporation, or partnership will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.

 
ND - Equine Activity - Chapter 53-10. Equine Activity Sponsor or Professional.   ND ST 53-10-01; ND ST 53-10-02   This North Dakota statute provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity and no participant may maintain an action against an equine activity sponsor or professional.  Statutory definitions are provided, including "participant," "equine activity," and who is considered an "equine sponsor" or "equine professional."   Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  
NE - Equine Activity Liability - Article 21. Actions and Proceedings in Particular Cases. (EE) Equine Activities   NE ST 25-21,249 - 253   This Nebraska statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities and no participant shall make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from an equine activity sponsor.  Statutory definitions are provided, including "participant," "inherent risk," and who is considered an "equine sponsor" or "equine professional."  Engages in an equine activity does not include being a spectator at an equine activity except in cases when the spectator places himself or herself in an unauthorized area.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  
NH - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 508. Limitation of Actions.   NH ST 508:19   This New Hampshire statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person engaged in an equine activity, shall not be liable for an injury or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  The statute also sets out several definitions and specifically states that the term "engages in an equine activity" does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator is in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the equine activity.  
NJ - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 15. Equestrian Activities.   NJ ST 5:15-1 to 5:15-1 12   This New Jersey equine activity liability statute fist begins by setting forth the legislative recognition of the importance of equine activities to the state and the fact that eliminating the inherent risks in engaging in them is impractical or impossible.  Further, a participant and spectator are deemed to assume the inherent risks of equine animal activities created by equine animals, and is assumed to know the range of his ability and it shall be the duty of each participant to conduct himself within the limits of such ability.  This acknowledgment of the assumption of risk serves as a complete bar of suit and shall serve as a complete defense to a suit against an operator by a participant for injuries resulting from the assumed risks (excluding the exceptions outlined in the statute).  
NM - Equine Activity Liability - Article 13. Equine Liability   NM ST 42-13-1 to 42-13-5  

This act stipulates that any person, corporation or partnership is immune from liability for the death or injury of a rider, which resulted while the rider was engaged in an equine activity.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person, corporation, or partnership will be held liable for injuries if he or she displays a conscious, reckless, or intentional disregard for the safety of the rider, and if the person, corporation, or partnership fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the rider.

 
OH - Equine Liability Act - Chapter 2305. Jurisdiction; Limitation of Actions. Miscellaneous Provisions.   OH ST 2305.321  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor, equine activity participant, equine professional, veterinarian, farrier, or any other person is not liable in damages in a tort or other civil action for harm that an equine activity participant allegedly sustains during an equine activity, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  an equine sponsor, equine activity participant, equine professional, veterinarian, farrier, or any other person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, an equine sponsor, equine activity participant, equine professional, veterinarian, farrier, or any other person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
OK - Equine Activity Liability - Title 76. Torts. Livestock Activities Liability Limitation Act.   OK ST T. 76 50.1 - 50.4   The Oklahoma Livestock Activities Liability Limitation Act provides that it is the intent of the Oklahoma Legislature to encourage livestock activities by limiting the civil liability of livestock activities sponsors, participants and livestock professionals involved in such activities.  A livestock activity sponsor, a participant or a livestock professional acting in good faith and pursuant to the standards of the livestock industry shall not be liable for injuries to any person engaged in livestock activities when such injuries result from the inherent risks of livestock activities.  Oklahoma also has a unique provision that explicitly states that two or more persons may agree, in writing, to extend the waiver of liability pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Livestock Activities Liability Limitation Act.  
OR - Equine Liability Act - Chapter 30. Actions and Suits in Particular Cases. Actions Arising Out of Equine Activities.   OR ST 30.687 - 697  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or an equine professional is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, arising out of riding, training, driving, grooming or riding as a passenger upon an equine.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  an equine sponsor or professional will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant.

 
PA - Equine - Chapter 13. Equine Activity.   PA ST 4 P.S. 601 - 606   These statutes comprise Pennsylvania's Equine Activity Act, which sent into effect on February 21, 2006. Under the law, liability for negligence shall only be barred where knowing voluntary assumption of risk is proven in a particular case. However, the Act provides immunity only where a sign that states, "You assume the risk of equine activities pursuant to Pennsylvania law," is conspicuously posted on the premises in two or more locations.  
RI - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 21. Exemption from Liability Arising from Equine Activities   RI ST 4-21-1 - 4   This Rhode Island section provides that an equine professional, or any other person, shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities unless the equine activity sponsor, professional or other person are demonstrated to have failed to exercise due care under the circumstances towards the participant.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  
SC - Equine Activity Liability - Article 7. Equine Liability Immunity.   SC ST 47-9-710 - 730   This South Carolina section provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activity.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this section prevents an equine activity sponsor or equine professional from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this article.  
SD - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 42-11. Equine Activities.   SD ST 42-11-1 - 5  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor, equine professional, doctor of veterinary medicine or any other person, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
TN - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 20. Equine Activities--Liability   TN ST 44-20-101 - 105  

This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or equine professional, or any other person, including corporations and partnerships, are immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  a person, corporation, or partnership will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  In addition, a person will be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

 
TX - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 87. Liability Arising from Equine Activities or Livestock Shows.   TX CIV PRAC & REM 87.001 - 005   This Texas section provides that any person, including an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in an equine activity or livestock show if the property damage, injury, or death results from the dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of an equine activity or the showing of an animal on a competitive basis in a livestock show.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of "clearly readable" warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  
UT - Equine Activity Liability - Part 2. Limitations on Liability for Equine and Livestock Activities   UT ST 78B-4-201 - 203   This Utah section states that it is presumed that participants in equine or livestock activities are aware of and understand that there are inherent risks associated with these activities.  Thus, an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock activity sponsor, or livestock professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant due to the inherent risks associated with these activities.  The section also requires an equine professional to give notice to participants of the limitation of liability, either by the posting of a sign or by the execution of a written release.  
VA - Equine - Chapter 62. Equine Activity Liability/Chapter 63. Ox Activity Liability   VA ST 3.2-6200 - 6302   This Virginia section provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or death of a participant resulting from the intrinsic dangers of equine activities.  Liability is not limited where the equine professional intentionally injures the participant, commits an act or omission that constitutes negligence for the safety of the participant, or knowingly provides faulty equipment or tack that causes injury.  The statute seems to imply that a waiver should be executed when a participant engages in equine activities to adequately insulate the equine professional.  
VT - Equine - 1039. Equine activities; acceptance of inherent risks   VT ST T. 12 1039   This statute represents Vermont's equine activity liability law. Under the Act, no person shall be liable for an injury to, or the death of, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, insofar as those risks are necessary to the equine activity and obvious to the person injured. An equine activity sponsor may (it does not say "shall") post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in this subsection.  
WA - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 4.24. Special Rights of Action and Special Immunities.   WA ST 4.24.530 - 540   This Washington section provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity, nor may he or she maintain an action against or recover from an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional for an injury to or the death while engaged in an equine activity.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.  
WI - Equine Activity Liability - 895.481. Civil liability exemption; equine activities   WI ST 895.481   Under this Wisconsin statute, a person is immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to his or her participation in equine activities if a person participating in the equine activity is injured or killed as the result of an inherent risk of equine activities.  Notably, the statute provides that a person whose only involvement in an equine activity is as a spectator shall not be considered to be participating in the equine activity.  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs or bold print in a written waiver that alerts participants to the limitation of liability by law.  
WV - Equine Activity Liability - Article 4. Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act.   WV ST 20-4-1 - 7   This West Virginia section expressly recognizes the value of equestrian activities to the state.  Thus, in order to limit liability to those who provide equine services, the duties of both the horsemen who provide such services and the participants who engage in such activities are stated.  Each participant in an equestrian activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in an equestrian activity.  Horsemen are required to ensure the safety of the participants and the equipment provided.  
WY - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 1. General Provisions as to Civil Actions   WY ST 1-1-122 to 123   The Wyoming equine liability provisions immunize equine professionals by declaring that those who engage in equine activities or any recreational activities assume the inherent risks in the sport or recreational opportunity.  However, actions based upon negligence of the provider wherein the damage, injury or death is not the result of an inherent risk of the sport or recreational opportunity shall be preserved pursuant to W.S. 1-1-109.  

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