Cross-posted from MSN.com via The Hollywood Reporter
WRITTEN BY ERIQ GARDNER
One of television’s strangest sagas in 2012 was the March cancellation of HBO’s “Luck” after the horse racing drama starring Dustin Hoffman was attacked over the treatment of animals on set.
The saga isn’t quite over.
Barbara Casey, who worked as the director of production in the American Humane Association’s film and television unit, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer and HBO. Casey says she worked for AHA for 13 years and is suing the organization for allegedly wrongfully terminating her in January 2012. She’s also suing HBO and Luck producer Stewart Productions for aiding and abetting an alleged abuse cover-up months before the series was put to sleep.
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Casey says the AHA observed drugged horses, underweight and/or sick horses routinely used for work on the show, the misidentification of horses by producers so that animal safety reps couldn’t track their medical histories and more.
Casey says HBO and Stewart Productions wanted to save time and money and that rather than cooperate with AHA, the production companies pressured the organization to allow them to violate the AHA’s animal safety standards.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO says: “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.”
The AHA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read more >>
— “Luck” bad for horses as two die in making of HBO series, Feb 7, 2012
— Horse injured and euthanized on the set of “Luck”; May 7, 2010