Oct
11
2012

A veterinarian in Bellefonte, Pa., is facing a $243,000 lawsuit from a woman who claims the veterinary hospital destroyed stored sperm samples from her champion stud dogs.

According to an article on WJACTV.com, Linda Blackie entered into a contract arrangement with Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital in 2000 to store semen from her valuable poodles. The hospital collected 51 straws of semen from her three poodles and stored the samples in a storage tank with liquid nitrogen.

Blackie claims in the lawsuit that in 2009, Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital informed her that all of the samples had been destroyed because hospital staff had allowed the tank to thaw.

Also suing the hospital is Miriam Thomas, who was storing samples from the same poodle lineage there. Between Thomas and Blackie, the two were storing 122 samples that were all destroyed. Their lawsuits together total more than $300,000, according to the Centre Daily Times.

The main focus of the jury will now be to determine how much the sperm samples were worth.
 
Blackie estimates that she could have charged $5,000 for just two samples based on the fact that they originate from her now-deceased, award-winning poodle Peter and two of his descendants, according to the Centre Daily Times. Peter won Best in Show at the 1991 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and his descendants have also garnered several awards.

Blackie said the the destroyed sperm is irreplaceable because it was the last from that bloodline of poodles.

The lawyer representing the animal hospital and its owner contends that the value of the sperm should be based on sample quality because usually the poorer the quality, the more sperm it takes to result in successful breeding. He stated that the quality of the stored samples ranged only “from moderately good to extremely poor.”

According to WJACTV.com, the civil trial is expected to conclude on Oct. 11.

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