Garretson v. Avery

In Garretson v. Avery, 26 Wyo. 53, 176 P. 433 (1918), Mr. Garretson's cow broke into Mr. Avery's fenced enclosure, ate the green alfalfa grass being grown there, and died. Mr. Garretson sued Mr. Avery for the value of the cow, interest, and costs alleging Mr. Avery was negligent in failing to maintain a lawful fence or in maintaining a fence in such defective condition that it allowed the cow to breach into the alfalfa field. The court noted, if there were no fence at all, Mr. Avery would not be liable because he had no duty to fence against livestock. The court concluded the lawful fence statute was intended to prevent harm to livestock caused by a poorly constructed fence and not from the hazards that might exist within a fenced enclosure once breached.