Animal rights group settles lawsuit with Ringling
By JESSICA GRESKO
Posted: 12/28/2012 09:03:50 AM MST
Updated: 12/28/2012 03:04:26 PM MST
WASHINGTON—An animal rights group will pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Friday it was not admitting any wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus’ owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him “essentially a paid plaintiff” who lacked credibility.
I have quoted what the Denver Post’s TOU allow, and included more source information than the TOU require. As the article points out, this does not settle the issue of whether Ringling Brothers abused their elephants. Reading between the lines a little, I think it does imply that the witness deemed not credible by the court is the heart of that claim, and with his testimony deemed not credible, the various animal rights groups have no case. Further, those groups also opened themselves to counter-suit, which is what the ASPCA settled (which may put the other orgs in an awkward position).