This morning (Monday) the Florida Greyhound Association announced that one of its members filed suit seeking financial compensation after the passage of a Constitutional Amendment to phase out greyhound racing. This lawsuit is without merit and will be rejected.
Broad and Cassel, the law firm that won compensation for a pig farmer under the Bert Harris Act, analyzed the language of Amendment 13 and found that no compensation could be due. No property is taken under Amendment 13, and this humane law simply phases out an industry that is cruel and inhumane. Unlike the pig farmer who could no longer use his gestation crates at all, the track land and the dogs themselves retain value.
A nearly identical lawsuit was rejected by the courts a decade ago, after voters outlawed greyhound racing in Massachusetts. In its ruling the Essex County Superior Court found that a kennel "could have no reasonable investment-backed expectations in its greyhound kennel business" because "it operates in the highly-regulated gaming industry."
Amendment 13 was approved by an overwhelming vote of 69% to 31%. Four dog tracks have already ended live racing, and seven more (including Best Bet Orange Park) will end racing over the next year. Rather than file frivolous lawsuits, the industry would be better served working to ensure there is a successful transition for every track worker and every greyhound.
Christine A. Dorchak, Esp.
President and General Counsel, GREY2K USA