Superior Court of California Judge Barbara A. Meiers has ordered slaughterhouse Manning Beef to pay $94,500 in attorneys’ fees for its lawsuit against Los Angeles Cow Save.
Manning Beef accused the Save activists of trespassing - but this turned out to be untrue.
The slaughterhouse claimed Los Angeles Cow Save, which organizes vigils for animals killed at the slaughterhouse, had trespassed despite the vigils taking place on a public road.
In awarding attorneys’ fees, the court further recognizes Manning Beef’s lawsuit as an attempt to silence its critics through intimidation.
Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells said: "The judge’s decision validates the time and effort legal experts spent defending Los Angeles Cow Save from baseless claims.
"It’s a victory for free speech, farmed animals and those who protect them.”
According to a spokesperson for the Animal Legal Defense Fund: "The award is the result of a successful motion to dismiss Manning Beef’s lawsuit under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute - a statute aimed at dissuading frivolous or malicious law suits.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Law Offices of Matthew Strugar and attorney Ryan Gordon from Advancing Law for Animals filed the anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of Los Angeles Cow Save.