Summary of Byram v. Main (1987), 523 A.2d 1387 (Me. 1987)
Parties: Appellee – Plaintiff – Byram
Appellant – Defendant – Main
Court: Court of Appeals, Maine, 1987
Facts: Main’s daughter’s pet donkey, Meadow, escaped from its enclosure and ventured onto I-95 where Byram’s tractor-trailer collided with it and caused injuries and damages.
Procedural Posture: TC – held Main was strictly liable for damages created by his donkey.
Issue: Is the owner of a domesticated animal that escapes unknown to the owner held strictly liable for damages and injuries to the plaintiff?
Judgment: Vacated and remanded to TC for judgment to the Defendant.
Holding: The court held that the owner should be only held to a negligence claim for letting his donkey to escape and venture onto a highway. It is up to public policy makers to decide through statute to hold them more liable.
Rule: Owner’s of domesticate animals that do not trespass are only held to levels of negligence.