Jury Awards Over $2.5 Million In Civil Case Surrounding Polo Pony Deaths

by | 03.14.2016 | 5:11pm

Jurors in a civil case surrounding the deaths of 21 polo ponies allegedly poisoned by a compounded supplement awarded over $2.5 million to the ponies' owners and insurers last week. The owners and insurance company claimed Franck's Lab, pharmacist Anthony Campbell, and veterinarian Dr. James Belden were to blame for the loss of the horses, which consumed a supplement that contained 100 times the selenium it was supposed to have ahead of the U.S. Open polo championship in 2009.

Attorneys for Franck's Lab, which is no longer in operation, argued that Belden bore some responsibility. Legal council for Campbell tried to establish that it was up to other employees to verify the prescription.

The jury attributed 85 percent responsibility to Franck's Lab, via two of its employees, and 15 percent responsibility to Campbell. Belden, who prescribed and administered the compound, was cleared of wrongdoing.

Plaintiffs had sought $4 million in damages. Just under $1.1 million was awarded to Diamond State Insurance for its payout on the horses, while Quorum Management (one of the horses' owners) was awarded $290,000, and three individual owners were awarded a total of $1.13 million.

Read more at Courtroom Connect

  • OopsyDaisy3

    This was an absolutely horrific mistake. 21 horses healthy, happy ready to play polo and one by one they cratered. I wondered what happened and 7 years later the owners get a mere 2.1 million to divide. Glad the lab is out of business. When one is prescribed a med be they equine or human, they expect the concoction to be correct. I will never get the photo of the horses out of my mind. I grew up watching Polo being played in Brackenridge Park in San Antonio on Sunday afternoons. Linda

  • ziggypop

    Friend of mine helped to unload the horses as they started to drop. Said it was the saddest and most horrifying site he could possibly imagine. One by one the horses collapsed, some in the trailers. Terrible.

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