Jury Awards Millions for Polo Pony Deaths

In 2009, 21 polo ponies died after receiving an improperly compounded selenium, vitamin B, and potassium product.
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A jury in Palm Beach County, Florida, has awarded more than $2 million in damages to the owners and insurers of polo ponies that died after receiving supplements manufactured by a now-defunct compounding pharmacy.

In 2009, 21 polo horses died after receiving a selenium, vitamin B, and potassium compound prepared Franck‘s Compounding Laboratory of Ocala, Florida. A subsequent investigation revealed that the compound contained levels of selenium that are toxic to horses; a mathematical conversion error was later blamed for the inappropriate selenium levels. Several lawsuits involving the case followed.

Records from the 15th District Judicial Circuit Court in Palm Beach indicat that the jury’s finding stems from a 2010 civil lawsuit filed by the horses’ owners—including Quorum Management Co., Juan Martin Nero, Nicholas Espain, and Guillermo Caset, and the Diamond State Insurance Co.—alleging that Franck’s Lab, pharmacist Anthony Campbell, and veterinarian James Belden, DVM, were responsible for the horses’ deaths.

On March 11, a jury found that negligence on the part of Franck’s lab, Campbell, and pharmacist Nefertiti Abdullah was responsible for the animals’ deaths; the jury found no negligence on Belden’s part. The horses owners were subsequently awarded damages of $2.516 million in the case

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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