Superior Court of California Judge Barbara A. Meiers ordered slaughterhouse Manning Beef to pay $94,500 in attorneys’ fees in connection with its lawsuit against Los Angeles Cow Save. Advancing Law for Animals, together with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Law Office of Matthew Strugar represented Los Angeles Cow Save in the underlying lawsuit filed by Manning Beef, a large cattle slaughterhouse in the Pico Rivera area of Los Angeles.
Following a series of peaceful vigils hosted by Los Angeles Cow Save on a public right of way, the slaughterhouse falsely claimed the activists were trespassing. "This kind of retaliatory litigation is intended to chill protests through legally and financially burdening activists," explains Advancing Law for co-founder and co-director Ryan Gordon.
Advancing Law for Animals, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Law Office of Matthew Strugar, asked the court to throw out the slaughterhouse’s case under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, a law which allows for early dismissal of strategic litigation against public participation, or “SLAPP” cases.
In response, the court found dismissed Manning Beef's lawsuit altogether and allowed Los Angeles Cow Save to recover its attorneys' fees and costs. Gordon added this outcome is "important in deterring large companies from using their resources to silence criticism of their business practices."