Irwin Mitchell is calling for land owners to ensure that the general public are protected from potential animal attacks after a cow charged at a man, fracturing his shoulder, while he was walking along the Hadrian’s Wall trail.
Mr D contacted Irwin Mitchell for legal assistance in his case after the injuries hampered his mobility forcing him to have time off work. The owner of the field, David Hall, has agreed a settlement to cover the lost earnings while Mr D was off work.
The attack occurred when Mr D was walking along the historical route in September 2009 with a friend. They came across two young calves in a field and walked adjacent to them so as not to disturb them. However this soon drew the attention of the calves’ protective mother, who began to act aggressively towards the walkers.
As the two men began to retreat the cow charged at them and Mr D stumbled and fell. As he lay on the ground, the cow trampled across him, fracturing his shoulder.
Katrina Elsey, in the Public Liability team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mr D suffered a significant injury as a result of this attack, and as well as being off work he has been unable to train and run marathons in his spare time as he used to. He was not taking any unnecessary risks, and the field even had a designated footpath running through it, proving that he and his friend had right of way.
“This case is not just about the money for him – he wants to know why he was not safe on a public footpath, and also wants to be assured that the same thing cannot happen again to others. We want all landowners to consider the impact their livestock could have and ensure that people will be safe while using public rights of way.”
Mr D said: “We were walking a well-known historic route so it was a scary situation once the cow charged at us and we didn’t expect such a violent reaction.
“If a dangerous dog attacks someone it becomes big news and causes uproar, it should be no different for any other animals. The path is a public right-of-way, and as such it should have been made safe for walkers.
“I used to do a lot of running but suffering a fractured shoulder has stopped me from training properly. I also had to have time off work to recover, it’s made life tough for a while.”
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