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The New York Times Artsbeat blog reports that a lawsuit has been filed against HBO claiming widespread abuse to animals during the filming of their now canceled drama series LUCK. The suit was filed by a former employee of the American Humane Association, Barbara Casey, who claims she was fired in order to keep her observations of animal cruelty from going public.
Casey's lawsuit was filed on December 31 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. A copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Ms. Casey said she observed "ongoing, systematic and unlawful animal abuse and cruelty toward the horses" during the making of "Luck" between 2010 and 2012.
She also reported that she had "repeatedly complained" about horses being "abused, neglected and/or mistreated on the set." But she said she was let go from her job at the American Humane Association last January "in order to prevent her from reporting the Production Defendants' violation of animal abuse and cruelty laws and/or in retaliation for her efforts in reporting same."
HBO canceled "Luck," last March, admitting to the fact that some of the horses used on the series had been injured and euthanized during filming. At the time, the cable network maintained it had used "the highest safety standards possible" on "Luck" and had instituted "safety protocols that go above and beyond typical film and TV industry standards and practices."
LUCK was from director Michael Mann and "Deadwood" creator David Milch and starring Oscar(R) winner Dustin Hoffman and Oscar(R) nominee Nick Nolte. It was a behind-the-track look at the world of horse racing and gambling's denizens - owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers.
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