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ROSEANN CARR, PLAINTIFF, vs. ALISIJA ZABAVSKA GRANGER AND CALLEGARI CANDACE ETAL, DEFENDANTS

Harris County

No. 980189

 

PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL PETITION

 

TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF THIS COURT:

 

Plaintiff, RoseAnn Carr (“Carr”) files this, her Original Petition complaining of Defendants, Alisija Zabavska Granger (“Granger”), Candace Callegari (“Candace”) and Callegari Equestrian Club (“Callegari”), and in support thereof would show the Court the following:

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff, RoseAnn Carr is an individual residing in Harris County, Texas.

2. Defendant, Alisija Zabavska Granger, is an individual residing in Harris County, Texas, and may be served with process at her place of employment at Callegari Stables at 12750 N. Eldridge Pkwy., Cypress, TX 77429
3. Callegari Equine Technologies, LLC dba Callegari Equestrian Club and Callegari Arabians, is a business operating under Texas law, located and doing business in Harris County, Texas and may be served with process through its registered agent, Eduardo Callegari, or its member, Candace Callegari, at its place of business at 12750 N. Eldridge Pkwy., Cypress, TX 77429.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
4. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in Harris County, Texas, as the defendant’s primary business location is in Harris County, Texas, and the events at issue and actions making up the causes of action occurred in Harris County, Texas.
DISCOVERY LEVEL

5. Plaintiff believes that this suit should proceed under Rule 190.02 with Level 1 discovery.

JURY REQUESTED

6. Plaintiff requests a trial by jury and the appropriate jury fee has been paid.

BACKGROUND FACTS

7. Plaintiff RoseAnn Carr (“Carr”) owned a ten year old Thoroughbred gelding horse by thename of Seattle Swift, (“the Horse”). This horse had shown great promise as a potential show horse and Carr desired to have the horse professionally trained for the show disciplines of dressage and stadium jumping.

8. Carr was acquainted with the owners ofthe Defendant business, Callegari Equine Technologies, LLC dba Callegari Equestrian Club and Callegari Arabians (collectively “Callegari”). These owners are Eduardo and Candace Callegari. These owners represented to her that they had in their employ a professional trainer who was able to give the horse the professional training sought by Carr. This trainer was Defendant Alisija Zabavska Granger (“Granger”).

9. On or about October 9, 2010, Carr trailered the Horse to Callegari’s stables where Carr and Defendants entered into a contractual agreement whereby the Horse was to be boarded at Defendant Callegari’s stable and trained by Defendant Granger. At this time Carr took great care to tell Candace Callegari that the Horse could not be tied to anything in any way because he would panic and pull back on the rope and would be likely to injure himself or the facility. Carr told them he was very gentle and could be easily groomed, bathed and tacked up without tying him. Candace Callegari stated that they understood and would not tie him and would tell Granger not to tie him. This agreement not to tie the Horse became a part of the contract between the parties.

10. On more than one occasion after the horse was at Callegari, Carr reminded Granger directly that the horse could not be tied. Granger indicated that she understood and would not do so.

11. Despite her admonitions about tying the Horse, on November 18, 2010, at approximately 12:00 pm, Carr received a call from Granger saying her horse was hurt. When Carr asked how bad he was injured and what had happened, Granger told her that she had tied the Horse to a tree and that he was down on the ground.

12. When asked if a vet had been called, Granger said no and Carr hung up the phone and called the vets at Waller Equine Hospital to send them out to the stable.

13. Granger called back in a few moments and told Carr that the Horse was dead.

14. Carr called the vets again and reported that the Horse was dead.

15. Carr called Candace Callegari to ask if she would go out to the stable area and confirm that the Horse was dead and did not need the vet to come. Candace called back and said he was dead and that “It was probably a heart attack.” She then offered to bury the horse on Callegari property.

16. Carr declined this offer and asked that the body be taken to Waller Equine Hospital for disposal. Candance agreed to do this.

17. At approximately 4:06pm, Carr received a phone call from a young woman saying that she saw what happened. She said that she had witnessed Granger abusing horses before this, but that this was horrible and that she thought Carr should know the truth. She said that Granger had tied the Horse to a tree and that every time the Horse tried to pull back she beat him with something in her hand. Each time she struck the Horse, he would leap forward and slam his head into the tree. This happened several times until the Horse finally collapsed and died.

18. This witness said she was afraid to give her name because she was a client at Callegari, but Carr was able to identify her by her phone number on her “caller ID.”

19. Carr phoned the vet and asked them to perform a necropsy. Dr. Chris Boutros examined the body of the Horse and said that it had suffered very severe head trauma consistent with the report of the eyewitness and that he believed this head trauma was the cause of death but that Carr should send the body to Texas A&M University’s Large Animal Hospital for full necropsy to rule out Candace’s claim that he died of a heart attack.

20. At 4:53 pm the eyewitness phoned back and told Carr how to find the location of the incident and that the employees of Callegari were trying to wash up the area to remove the blood.

21. A friend of Carr’s, Delta Humphreys, went to the scene and asked Candace to direct her to where the horse had died. Candace misdirected Ms. Humphreys and told her that the incident had occurred in an area in front of the barn. Ms. Humphreys followed the eye witness’s directions and located the actual area of the incident far removed from the barn. She then videotaped the area. Clearly visible in the video footage is the tree covered with blood, the blood covered ground disturbed by the Horse’s struggles. Also visible in the video footage is the water hose the Defendants used to try and clean up the scene.

22. The necropsy from Texas A&M University’s Large Animal Hospital confirmed that the horse died of severe head trauma.

23. All physical evidence confirms the eyewitness report of what happened.

24. Upon later research, Carr discovered that Granger has a worldwide reputation for having a bad temper and for beating horses. Moreover, an additional witness has come forward to report that while she boarded her horse at Callegari, her horse foundered and was down in its stall and that Granger beat the horse to force it to get up and the owner later found the horse cowering in a corner of its small turnout paddock.

25. The information about Granger’s previous abuse of horses is readily available to anyone attempting to investigate her background. Either Callegari was negligent in failing to investigate the background of Granger before hiring her or they hired her despite her

background. Report of other abuses of horses while at Callegari should also have been known to defendant Callegari

CAUSES OF ACTION

26. BREACH OF CONTRACT: Defendants actions in tying the Horse to a tree despite their agreement not to do so constitute a breach of their contract with Plaintiff Plaintiff made a formal demand for payment more than 30 day’s prior to filing this suit. Defendant’s breach of contract has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000.

27. BREACH OF WARRANTY: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendants’ actions in tying the Horse to a tree and then beating it until it died constitute a breach of their express warranty that they would properly care for and train the Horse and would not tie it. Defendants’ breach of warranty has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of$10,000.

28. NEGLIGENCE: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendants’ actions in tying the Horse to a tree and then beating it until it died constitute negligence in that a reasonably prudent trainer would not take such action and a reasonably prudent boarding facility would not permit their employee to do so. The negligence of Defendants has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000.

29. GROSS NEGLIGENCE: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendants’ actions in tying the Horse to a tree and then beating it until it died constitute gross negligence in that these actions were taken with reckless disregard to the welfare and life of the Horse. The gross negligence of Defendants has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000 and entitles Plaintiff to punitive damages.

30. TRESPASS TO CHATTEL: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendants’ actions in tying the Horse to a tree and then beating it until it died constitute a trespass to Plaintiff’s chattel, namely the Horse and has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000.

31. NEGLIGENT HIRING: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendant Callegari’s actions in hiring Granger without investigating her background or for hiring her despite the results of an investigation into her background constitute negligent hiring and has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000.

32. NEGLIGENT RETENTION: In addition and without waiver of the foregoing, Defendant Callegari’s actions in retaining the employment of Granger after witnessing her abuse of

33. horses and/or after receiving complaints regarding her abuse of horses constitute negligent

retention and has resulted in damages to Plaintiff in excess of $10,000.

34. ATTORNEYS’ FEES: Plaintiff demanded payment from Defendant more than thirty days ago, but Defendant neither paid nor tendered payment. Therefore, Plaintiff has retained the

undersigned counsel to collect this debt, and requests attorneys’ fees. Plaintiff is entitled to recover her attorneys’ fees for Defendants’ breaches of contract and breaches of express and

implied warranties.

PRAYER

 

Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Defendants be cited to appear and answer and that on final trial, Plaintiff have the following:

a) Judgment against Defendants for actual and consequential damages in an amount

proved at trial of at least $10,000.

b) Post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate until paid;

c) Pre-jud6TJTient interest at the highest legal rate;

d) Attorneys’ fees in a reasonable amount, together with conditional awards in the event

of appeal;

e) Costs of court.

f) Such other and further relief to which Plaintiff may show herself justly entitled.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Pennington

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF

View Complaint

 

CASE SETTLED

According to Plaintiff’s Attorney

 

The parties in the case styled Carr vs. Granger, et al, pending in County Court at Law No. 2 in Harris County, Texas have reached a mutual settlement in a case that arose from the unintentional tragic death of RoseAnn Carr’s horse, Seattle. The case was settled [for $35,000] to avoid the costs of protracted litigation and such settlement should not be viewed as an admission of liability by any party.