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HBO 'Luck' Lawsuit Brought by Former AHA Employee Over Horse Deaths

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
January 3, 2013|11:22 am

An HBO lawsuit surrounding the former series "Luck" has been revealed. The show ended when several horses died. An ex-American Humane Association employee filed suit against HBO and the American Humane Association (AHA) and alleged that the horses were mistreated, leading to their deaths.

"AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities," Barbara Casey charges in the suit. "AHA instructed Plaintiff [HBO] not to report such conduct. AHA engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the production defendants' criminal activities."

"Luck" was a series based on the life of jockeys and horse racing that starred Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. The show came under heavy fire when two horses died one year apart.

"The safety of the animals was of paramount concern to us. Recent assertions of lax attitudes or negligence could not be further from the truth," HBO said in a statement. The corporation also said that its work with the AHA was "to implement safety protocols that go above and beyond typical film and TV industry standards and practices."

Unfortunately, another horse died, leading HBO to officially cancel the series.

"While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen, and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future. Accordingly, the have reached this difficult decision," the channel said in an official statement.

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The AHA saw "drugged horses, as well as underweight and sick horses being forced to work on the series," Casey told The Hollywood Reporter.

"We took every precaution to ensure that our horses were treated humanely and with the utmost care, exceeding every safeguard of all protocols and guidelines required of the production. Barbara Casey was not an employee of HBO, and any questions regarding her employment should be directed to the AHA," HBO said in response to The Hollywood Reporter.

Casey is seeking general and punitive damages in the case, though the amount she's seeking is currently unknown.

 

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