Judge Mulls Suit by Animal Rights Group Against USC
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Judge Mulls Suit by Animal Rights Group Against USC

From MyNewsLA.com, February 26, 2020

An organization that alleges USC abuses animals in its research lacks standing to bring a lawsuit against the institution and the case should be dismissed, lawyers for the university argued Wednesday.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now alleges that documents it obtained show USC routinely violates its mandatory research protocols, as well as applicable animal welfare laws and regulations.

Lawyers for USC stated in court papers seeking dismissal of the case that the organization has no standing to bring the suit because there was no demonstration that its interests were harmed. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin heard arguments, then said he was taking the case under submission so he could study the issues further.

On Oct. 31, the judge ruled that there were insufficient details in the first amended complaint regarding the organization’s claim to have standing. He gave the group time to file a second amended complaint, which was done on Nov. 20.

But according to the USC attorneys’ court papers, nothing is new in the most recent version of the suit.

“After three unsuccessful attempts to plead standing … it is clear that sufficient facts do not exist to establish standing in this case,” the USC lawyers stated in their court papers.

The suit, originally brought last June 24, alleges that USC “claims it achieves the highest ethical standards in its research … but privately, USC has a pattern and practice of subjecting animals to needless suffering and unnecessary cruelty.”

The plaintiffs allege USC researchers killed baby animals by placing them in a carcass-disposal freezer while still alive, performed unauthorized surgeries and injections on animals, withheld post-operative care and failed to euthanize in a timely manner animals languishing with ulcerated tumors.

“These practices find no refuge under the guise of research, nor does the banner of science provide a free pass for all manner of abuse,” according to the lawsuit.

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