Cloning Lawsuit Update
(from the America's Horse October 2013 - pg 38)
On August 22, 2013, Judge Mary Lou Robinson issued a final judgement in the cloning lawsuit in which she awarded close to $900,000 in attorney fees to the plaintiffs, in addition to entering an injunction requiring AWHA to immediately begin registering clones and their offspring.
After her judgement, AQHA announced plans to file a motion to stay the enforcement of the judgement, pending the outcome of the appellate process. In the interim, AQHA started the process of incorporating the court's rules to accept the registration of horses produced by cloning as set forth in the final judgement.
On the subject of actual damages, while the jury found that AQHA violated anti-trust laws, it awarded no damages to the plaintiffs, despite the plaintiffs' demand for $5.7 million in damages.
"Although the jury's verdict found that our Association's decision to refuse to register clones and their offspring was in violation of anti-trust laws, we strongly believe in the right of our memebers and our directors to make such registration decisions on their own. We also believe in theis case that there has been no violation of anti-trust law," said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. "Therefore, AQHA will continue to take any and all necessary legal steps in seeking to have the final judgment entered by the court in favor of the plaintiffs reversed."
In addition to filing a motion to stay the enforcement of the judgment pending AQHA's appeal, AQHA also plans to file a motion for judgment as a matter of law, in which AQHA will request the court to enter a take-nothing judgment in favor of AQHA based upon the fact that the jury's verdict was not supported by the evidence entered at trial.
Should the court deny AQHA's motion for judgment as a matter of law, then AQHA will proceed with the appeal of this ruling by filing a notice of appeal. This will begin the appellate process as the case heads to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.