Alleged HBO Cover-Up: Network Sued Over Horse Deaths On ‘Luck’

An alleged HBO cover-up has the network in trouble and facing a lawsuit over the treatment of animals on the set of Luck.

A former director of production in the American Humane Association’s film and television unit, Barbara Casey, is suing over the alleged HBO cover-up. She claims that she was wrongfully terminated in January 2012 and is also suing Luck producer Stewart Productions for aiding and abetting the alleged HBO cover-up for months after the series ended.

Casey says the AHA was coerced by HBO to approve the production and keep from contacting law enforcement officials.

“AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants’ conduct to the authorities,” Casey alleges in the suit. “AHA instructed Plaintiff not to report such conduct. AHA engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the production defendants’ criminal activities.”

Several horses died during the series, and the series was canceled after PETA protested the show.

Casey filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that the AHA observed horses being drugged, underweight and/or sick horses being used for the show, and misidentification of horses by producers so animal safety representatives couldn’t track their medical histories, The Hollywood Reporter notes.

HBO denies the alleged cover-up.

“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,” an HBO representative said 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.”

Casey has a different story, TV Guide noted. She says the alleged HBO cover-up whitewashed the animal abuse. In once case, a horse that was killed during a summer hiatus was not documented because it happened during a break in production, she claimed.