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The American Quarter Horse AssociationAugust 22, 2013
AQHA Cloning Lawsuit Update
Judge Mary Lou Robinson has issued a final judgment 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 AQHA to immediately begin registering clones and their offspring.
AQHA will file a motion to stay the enforcement of the judgment pending the outcome of the appellate process. In the interim, AQHA has started the process of incorporating the court’s rules to accept the registration of horses produced by cloning as set forth in the final judgment.
On the subject of actual damages, while the jury found that AQHA violated anti-trust laws, they 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 antitrust laws, we strongly believe in the right of our members and our directors to make such registration decisions on their own. We also believe in this case that there has been no violation of antitrust law” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway. “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 will also file a motion for judgment as a matter of law in which AQHA will request the court 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, Louisiana.
“It is clear from the phone calls, e-mails and posts by our members that they are very disappointed in the verdict” said AQHA President Johne Dobbs. “They continue to be against registering clones and their offspring for a number of reasons, and they object to this verdict as it represents a complete shift away from the sire-dam paradigm upon which all of our rules and processes are based, and which have governed our association for nearly 75 years. We appreciate our membership’s support, and want them to know that we will continue to fight for their right to determine the rules that govern their association”
“We have received many questions regarding insurance coverage in this case,” said Don Treadway. “Like many responsible corporations, AQHA proactively carries insurance and has a policy in the present case. We will keep the membership updated regarding developments in this case.”
For more information about the cloning lawsuit, view the Cloning Lawsuit Resources pages.
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