Leonel Trejo, an experienced bull rider, was trampled to death after falling from his bull during a rodeo at New Castle, Delaware. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Trejo was thrown from his bull after riding the bull for a minute and was stomped on the chest by the bull.
The Inquirer reports that police are currently investigating the incident to determine the exact cause of Leonel Trejo's death. The police have already stated that Trejo was not wearing any protective equipment at the time of the accident.
The responsibility for a death or injury in a dangerous activity like bull riding may fall upon either the organizers of the rodeo or may even fall upon Trejo himself.
If the organizers of the rodeo behaved negligently, such as carelessly overlooking any safety requirements or safety equipment for bull riders, Leonel Trejo’s family may have a wrongful death claim against the organizers.
On the other hand, if Trejo was aware of the dangers of bull riding without any protective equipment, but chose to ride the bull anyway, Trejo may have assumed the risk of harm. This would make a successful suit against the rodeo organizers very unlikely.
For example, Trejo would have assumed the risk of harm had he been aware of the obvious dangers of bull riding, especially without protective gear, but voluntarily engaged in the activity anyway. Trejo may have even signed a waiver stating he was aware of the dangers and waiving any liability on the part of the organizers.
While Leonel Trejo’s death may have been preventable, the responsibility for his death is uncertain. If the rodeo organizers behaved negligently, they may be liable in a wrongful death claim. But if Trejo chose to assume the risk of bull riding, his death may just be an tragic accident with no legal liability.