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UPDATED: Man Claims he was Injured on Hayride at Jenny's Farm Market Near Dexter

Farm owner Burton Hoey: "I don't think he was thrown from the hayride."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct information about the hayride driver at Jenny's Farm Market.

A 42-year-old resident from Beverly Hills, Mich. claims he was injured in a hayride accident at Jenny's Farm Market near Dexter on Sunday.

Victor Zaitonia, a mortgage consultant at First National Bank in Farmington Hills, said he was thrown from a hay wagon while visiting the farm with his girlfriend and daughter.

"We were sitting toward the back of the wagon, and when it hit a bump, I was thrown off," he explained.

Zaitonia said he notified farm owner Burton Hoey about the accident but didn't file a police report.

"I could barely walk, but I decided to grit my teeth and limp through it," he said.

It wasn't until he got to a relative's house when Zaitonia alleges the injury worsened, forcing him to check in at Chelsea Community Hospital.

"(Doctors) think I possibly tore my knee," he said.

Zaitonia said he is currently on pain medication and in a leg brace.

When he tried to contact Hoey for insurance purposes, however, Zaitonia said the farm owner was uncooperative.

"I tried to ask him for his insurance information, and his response was 'Don't you have insurance?'"

Hoey said he doesn't believe Zaitonia was injured, but took his information and informed Zaitonia that the farm's insurance company would contact him.

"I don't think he was thrown from the hayride," Hoey said. "He got up and walked to his car without a limp. The first thing he did was smoke a cigarette."

Hoey said he feels the farm has been targeted unfairly by both the press and local residents in recent months.

"This isn't a bad place," he said. "We don't have any drug paraphenlia or alcohol on the property, but we're continuously attacked by the local newspapers."

In 2011, a 23-year-old employee was paralyzed in a hayride accident at the farm. Since then, Hoey said he is the only one who drives the hay wagon and has installed a protective wall around the carriage.

Earlier this summer the Humane Society of Huron Valley removed several animals from the property following complaints of neglect and malnourishment, which Hoey said he plans to protest.

Editor's note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Vette96drvr October 03, 2012 at 09:27 PM
A 42 year old Beverly Hills Michigan man...........as the story starts. Later in the story it states "after returning home the injury worsened forcing him to check in to Chelsea Community Hospital. Did he really drive from Beverly Hills to Chelsea to check into a hospital?? Not a fan in any way of that establishment but it does seem like he (Burton) would be an easy target for a set up at this point. As the reader above commented, the alleged victim asking or his insurance info seems way out of the ordinary!
Dexter October 03, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Beleive me I know all to well about knee trouble. Their should have been something done right then! My injury 25 years ago caused my to have a knee replacement that didn't go well at all! Now I will never be the same & wasn't the doctor fault either. Our out of pocket has been $10,000 or more & yes we have good insurance but you have deducables. So it may be worth his time if he may need surgery later on.
Dexterreader October 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Most of the time my insurance company requires me to also provide info about any other insurance possibilities when there is an injury- at blue cross it is the "subornation dept" - and it says in my policy I have to cooperate. So the fact that he asked doesn't mean it is a scam. What I don't understand is that if employees no longer drive the hayride then WHO does? Someone drives it right?
Marilyn Wilkie October 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I thought he said he wasn't going to do the hayrides anymore...but we did see the two horses hitched up to a wagon on Sunday again. When is enough, enough?
Daniel Lai October 04, 2012 at 02:40 AM
@Dexter reader: Burton Hoey drives the wagon now.
alphamare October 04, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Hay Brad, well said. Of course a full time bank employee has his own insurance. Kind of makes you wonder if he's ever been "injured" before.
Jamba Jooce October 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Are you Victor Zaitonia?
Jamba Jooce October 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Are you really thinking to *ban* hayrides because people occasionally fall off? Why not ban driving because some people don't wear seat-belts and get in accidents? Even better - make people on hayrides wear seatbelts and sit in roll-cages because that is what hayrides should be about - zero possibility of injury. The entire point is this - caveat emptor. Everyone has been on a hayride and should know what to expect. You hold on to the side, you don't sit with legs hanging off the edge and you, most certainly, don't sue the hayride for your own stupidity. Accidents happen, yes. People get hurt. That's life and it sucks sometimes, but you don't ban hayrides because Darwin wants another swimmer in his death pool. Also, sign a release form, for cripes sake.

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