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Fan Hurt by Rodeo Bull in Bathroom Must Be Compensated, Judge Rules

June 24, 1989|Associated Press

MINOT, N.D. — A rodeo group must compensate a woman injured when a bull jumped three fences and charged into a bathroom where she was waiting out the competition, a judge has ruled.

The indoor rodeo arena's 5 1/2-foot-high restraining fences should have been higher to contain the bull, even though he "performed a routine that even an Olympic steeplechase horse" would have trouble duplicating, said District Judge Jon Kerian.

The incident occurred in July 1985. The bull, after throwing its rider and chasing a rodeo clown out of the ring, went over the fences and down a hall before bursting into the bathroom, according to testimony.

The animal pinned Barbara Deck against a wall, injuring her left shoulder and arm, and kicked out a bathroom sink before the woman was rescued by cowboys, said her attorney, David Hogue.

Deck, who did not want to watch because she once had seen a bull break the legs of its rider, was waiting while her husband watched the bull-riding event, Hogue said.

The North Dakota Rodeo Assn. must pay the woman $15,000 plus more than $3,000 in medical expenses, Kerian ruled after a one-day trial. Kerian also awarded Daniel Deck $3,000 for the loss of his wife's services in farm chores.

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