Despite already being sent to the glue factory, HBO's Luck still can't catch a break. The horse-racing drama was canceled last March after the deaths of three horses during filming, and now a lawsuit has been filed against HBO over the treatment of animals on set.
Barbara Casey, former director of production in the American Humane Association's film and television unit, filed the suit against HBO and Luck producer Stewart Productions as well as the AHA, where she was employed for thirteen years before being dismissed in January 2012. She is suing her former employer for wrongful termination, and alleges that HBO and Stewart aided and abetted the cover-up of animal abuse prior to the series being put to sleep.
According to the lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the animal safety organization witnessed producers using horses that were drugged, underweight, and/or sick to work on the show (hey, why should animals be any different than actors and actresses?) and routinely misidentifying horses so that representatives would be unable to track their medical histories. "AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities," states the lawsuit. "AHA instructed [Casey] not to report such conduct. AHA engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the Production Defendants' criminal activities."
"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," HBO responded in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "Barbara Casey was not an employee of HBO, and any questions regarding her employment should be directed to the AHA."
The full lawsuit can be found here.