HBO Sued Over Animal Abuse Cover-Up

by Christopher Freeburn | January 3, 2013 11:24 am

[1]HBO’s horse-racing series Luck, is proving distinctly unlucky[2] for the Time Warner (NYSE:TWX[3]) cable network.

The series, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was canceled last March after several horses died while filming. Now the network is being sued by a former employee of the American Humane Association (AHA), who alleges that the network abused the horses during production and tried to conceal the mistreatment, The Hollywood Reporter notes.

Barbara Casey alleges that the network used sick and underweight horses while filming the show under AHA monitoring. She is suing both HBO and the AHA in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking unspecified general and punitive damages.

According to Casey, HBO deliberately confused the identification of horses used on the show to prevent AHA observers from tracking their condition. Casey says that the AHA knew about horse abuse on Luck’s set. She also claims she was fired from her job as the AHA’s director of production, after she resisted network pressure not to report the mistreatment of the horses.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO denied the claims and insisted that it had complied with safety protocols and humane treatment standards.

Shares of Time Warner rose fractionally in Thursday morning trading.

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