Attorney Howard Taylor released a statement Friday (Aug. 14) in response to “certain inaccurate and/or misleading aspects of statements made by PETA concerning the settlement of the Tretter v. Breshnahan matter.”
Taylor's statement regarding the settlement is as follows:
I would like to address certain inaccurate and/or misleading aspects of statements made by PETA concerning the settlement of the Tretter v. Bresnahan matter.
First and foremost, while it is true that the case settled for $20,000, $7,500 was mandated as part of the settlement to be donated to the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Thus, Mr. Tretter received only $12,500.
As is acknowledged in their Aug. 12 press release, PETA financed 100 percent of the legal costs incurred by Mr. Tretter. It is our understanding that plaintiff’s legal fees were substantial, exceeding $1 million to the firm of K&L Gates to bring this claim. Therefore, this was not a windfall, but a nuisance value settlement for a small fraction of the costs expended to secure this settlement.
Frankly, this was a case that should never have been brought and would never have succeeded. The settlement was negotiated as a business decision to avoid further legal expenses to the defendants. Were it not for PETA’s involvement in financing Plaintiff’s legal fees, the case would never have been brought. In fact, the Courts consistently ruled that cases of this nature dealing with gambling winnings are far too speculative and cannot succeed. There was no “success” in prosecuting this matter as the costs were too great.
In light of the press release by PETA, I felt it necessary to put forth the true facts of this case to avoid a floodgate of litigation on similar cases which could never succeed.
Very truly yours,
Howard A. Taylor