HBO Covered Up Luck Horse Deaths: Suit
And humane group went along with it, complaint says
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 3, 2013 10:32 AM CST
In this undated image released by HBO, Nick Nolte appears in a scene from the HBO original series "Luck." A drama set at a California racetrack, HBO canceled the horse racing series after a third horse...   (AP Photo/HBO, Gusmano Cesaretti)

(Newser) – HBO horse racing series Luck was canceled in March after at least three horses died; now, a former American Humane Association exec is suing the network and the show's producer. Barbara Casey's lawsuit hits HBO and Stewart Productions for helping cover up alleged abuse of the horses, the Hollywood Reporter notes. Casey is also suing the AHA for wrongful termination in January. The AHA witnessed the show using drugged, underweight, and sick horses, but producers pushed the group to keep quiet to save cash and time, the lawsuit says.

"AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities," the suit says. When one horse died, AHA told staffers not to document it because it occurred during a summer break from shooting, the suit adds. Casey says she was fired over her opposition to the AHA's behavior. For its part, HBO says it "exceeded every safeguard" in caring for the horses.