TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Horse Cents - Fen-Phen Plaintiffs Battle Over Horse

In an amusing twist to the diet-drug litigation, plaintiffs in Kentucky claim ownership in a winning race horse (via WSJ Law blog).  Seriously.   In a suit filed in 2004, 400 Fen-Phen plaintiffs allege that their own lawyers defrauded them by failing to disclose information about the settlement and by failing to properly distribute client funds.   Representing the plaintiffs in their fraud suit is Angela Ford; she has a great website with the court pleadings available for download. 

Oh, the horse?  Yes, well, two of the former Fen-Phen lawyers own a 20% stake in a horse named Curlin - the winner of the Preakness and its $1million purse.  And, plaintiffs now seek ownership of the horse.  The NY Times quotes one of the plaintiffs:

“We own part of that horse — there’s about 400 of us,” Mr. Carter said. “We may not have our names on the papers, but it’s our horse. He was bought with our blood money.”

And Angela Ford intends to seek full ownership of the horse - not just the 20% currently retained by the lawyers.  From the Times article:

“If the court determines that Curlin was originally purchased with money that belonged to my clients, then the entire horse belongs to my clients and clear title could not have been conveyed,” Ms. Ford said.

What's next?   Well, for Curlin, the Belmont Stakes are this Saturday, June 9th.


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