ASPCA Pays Circus Barnum+Bailey $9.3Million in Lawsuit


A decade-long legal battle is finally coming to a close after the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) agreed to pay the owners of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million for alleging the circus abused their elephants. {PD: this was on RACKETEERING CHARGES, NOT JUST CIVIL LITIGATION; CIRCUS ALREADY WON THE CIVIL CASE AND ARs COMPLETELY LOST, LOST, LOST!}


The lucrative settlement was announced on Friday, according to papers to filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., Courthouse News reports.

“Animal activists have been attacking our family, our company, and our employees for decades because they oppose animals in circuses,” Kenneth Feld, chairman and chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment, said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. “This settlement is a vindication not just for the company but also for the dedicated men and women who spend their lives working and caring for all the animals with Ringling Bros.”

The original allegation of mistreatment against the show’s trained Asian elephants was filed in July of 2000, but was sullied by revelations that the key witness for the animal rights group was paid to testify, NBC News reports.

Former Ringling Bros. employee Tom Rider was responsible for caring for the elephants between 1997 and 1999. The circus won at trial in December 2009 when a judge ruled Rider’s testimony was suspect, according to Bloomberg.

“The court finds that Mr. Rider is essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness who is not credible, and therefore affords no weight to his testimony regarding the matters discussed herein, i.e., the allegations related to his standing to sue,” U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan wrote in his 2009 opinion, according to CNN.

Dec 28 2012

ASPCA Pays Nearly $10 Million to Feld Entertainment in Racketeering Lawsuit Settlement

Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom, which runs, issued the following press release:

ASPCA Pays Nearly $10 Million to Feld Entertainment

in Racketeering Lawsuit Settlement

Humane Society of the United States Still Faces Millions in Potential Damages for Alleged Role in Fraudulent RICO Scheme

Washington, D.C.—Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom calls attention to the breaking news that Feld Entertainment, owner of the Ringling Bros. Circus, has reached a $9.3 million settlement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in connection with a federal lawsuit filed by Feld under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Feld’s litigation will continue against other animal rights defendants, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and two of its attorneys, Jonathan R. Lovvorn and Kimberly D. Ockene, who could be liable for tens of millions of dollars.

Feld’s lawsuit alleges that ASPCA, HSUS, Lovvorn, Ockene, and others took part in an illegal scheme to pursue fraudulent litigation against Feld that dragged through the court for years. Federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan dismissed this previous animal-rights lawsuit in late 2009 after finding that the key witness for the animal-rights plaintiffs was “essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness who is not credible.” In his dismissal, Sullivan exposed a system by which animal-rights plaintiffs funneled at least $190,000 to this witness. Feld alleges that the Humane Society of the United States sent six payments earmarked to pay this witness through a nonprofit front group controlled by plaintiffs’ counsel. Evidence from court documents shows some of the money was paid to the nonprofit group with an HSUS check signed by CEO Wayne Pacelle.

The massive $9.3 million settlement by the ASPCA indicates that HSUS and other defendants could face tens of millions in damages if they are found to have acted illegally. Feld has stated that it spent $20 million dollars defending against the failed animal-rights litigation, and the RICO Act allows for triple damages.


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