The Getty Law Group, which previously represented embattled former Runhappy trainer Maria Borell, has withdrawn as counsel for Borell in her lawsuit against Runhappy owner Gallery Racing and James McIngvale. According to court documents, the lawyers had sent “numerous emails, letters, and voicemail messages” to Borell, seeking to update her on the case, and particularly to provide answers to discovery requests made from the defendants in March. The legal team claims it was unable to get satisfactory response from the trainer.
A motion filed in early August states that Borell “failed to provide a valid mailing address, leaving the Movants with no option other than to attempt to communicate with Ms. Borell by telephone (which always results in leaving a voicemail message) and sending letters and messaged [sic] through email.”
Borell's suit accuses James and Linda McIngvale of breach of contract, claiming they owe her a percentage of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Runhappy's earnings as per industry standard. She also accuses the couple and their Gallery Racing LLC of defamation regarding statements about her dismissal the day after the Breeders' Cup.
In March, attorneys for Gallery Racing submitted a list of questions to Borell as part of the standard discovery process ahead of trial. Borell and her attorneys negotiated a number of extensions to provide their response. In early July, Gallery Racing filed a motion to compel her to respond to their questions, hinting that her lack of response “may be related to the difficulties in which the Plaintiff now finds herself in in a criminal matter,” referring to the 43 counts of animal cruelty Mercer County officials charged Borell with earlier this summer. That motion also expressed a desire to “schedule a deposition of the Plaintiff Maria Borrell [sic] as soon as possible.”
Judge James Ishmael, Jr., Fayette Circuit Court judge for the Third District, gave Borell a deadline of August 15 to respond to Gallery's questions. If she failed, he wrote, the defendants “may make any appropriate motions for sanctions or other relief.”
The case file does not indicate Borell has provided answers to the discovery requests and does not indicate a new attorney has been named. The jury trial in the case is slated to begin Jan. 9, 2017.
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