HBO Named in Lawsuit Claiming “Luck” Producers Ignored Horse Abuse
(LOS ANGELES) -- HBO has been sued by a former employee of the American Humane Association, who claims she was fired by the group after she complained about the abuse of horses on the set of the cable network's short-lived 2012 series Luck.
According to TheWrap.com, Barbara Casey alleges in her lawsuit that producers of the horse racing drama ignored cases of abuse observed by the AHA on the set. The complaint states that some horses were drugged, and underweight and sick horses were put to work.
The lawsuit alleges that Casey repeatedly complained to the AHA and Luck's producers about the horse abuse and that she urged the AHA to notify the authorities. The suit claims, "AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities."
It also claims the AHA told its reps not to document the death of one horse because it was killed during a production hiatus.
Casey says she was fired by the AHA last January due to her complaints.
The wrongful termination lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles and names the AHA as a defendant, seeks a maximum of $10,000 for each alleged labor code violation, plus unspecified damages.
HBO tells TheWrap.com in a statement, "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."
Luck, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was cancelled after a few episodes due to the deaths of multiple horses during production.
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