Former HBO series “Luck” may be off of television, but that doesn’t mean the drama is over.
The Dustin Hoffman show, which centered around the world of horse racing, is the subject of a lawsuit filed against HBO, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apparently, Barbara Casey, who worked as the director of production in the American Humane Association’s film and television unit before being let go a year ago, claims that HBO and Luck producer Stewart Productions covered up abuse of the animals for months before the show was cancelled. She is also suing her former employer for wrongful termination.
The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleges that the AHA observed drugged horses, underweight and/or sick horses routinely used for work on the show. In addition, she says producers misidentified horses “so that animal safety reps couldn’t track their medical histories and more.”
“AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants’ conduct to the authorities,” Casey claims in the lawsuit. “AHA instructed Plaintiff not to report such conduct. AHA engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the production defendants’ criminal activities.”
HBO denies any wrongdoing, although several horses did die while filming the show.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the network said: “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.”