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Cows and parked vehicles – Liability Issues

The Case

The regional court of Koblenz recently had to discuss a really uncommon case (No. 13 S 45/19): the (legal) fight is apparently between a herd of cows and a car driver. As the cattle was driven from the farmer to another pasture, the cows had to pass through a narrow field path, next to which a random car was parked without permission. The transition of the animals became really difficult because the car took lot of space at disposition for the animal to pass and they remain with a very narrow corridor. The farmer stood with his back to the vehicle so that he could drive the cows away from it as he could. But after the cattle has been successfully transferred, there is a big dent at the back door of the car. The car owner is claiming compensation from the farmer, even if he took the necessary care in shielding the car.

Tribunal Decision

The Judges at the Regional Court in Koblenz were asked to decide on this case and their judgement was not going to please the careful farmer. When cows are driven from one pasture to another, the farmer must be careful. If the cows damage parked cars, the owner is liable even if the car was parked illegally on a field path. It was also obvious that the cows would not have much space next to the car and the undertaking was therefore very dangerous. Therefore, the farmer must also pay compensation for the damages caused by the cows.

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Cows and parked vehicles – Liability Issues

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