Dog semen lawsuit awards Oregon breeders $400,000 for Labradors

Dog semen lawsuit awards Oregon breeders $400,000 for Labradors

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An Oregon jury has awarded two dog breeders $400,000 because a semen bank for dogs mistakenly destroyed frozen specimens from highly-esteemed Labrador Retrievers, court documents show.

The verdict reached this month sides with Richard Weiner and Brad Barcroft, who sued the International Canine Semen Bank for allegedly losing some vials of the semen and damaging the quality of those remaining. 

Weiner paid the bank to collect, store and maintain semen from specialty hunting and field trial dogs since 1995, according to the complaint. He sold some of the vials to Barcroft in 2012, whom the bank also promised that the material would be preserved for future breeding. But independent tests on the semen in 2013 revealed their value degraded. 

The bank neglected to tell the breeders, the complaint said, and they found out three years later that bank employees improperly mixed and diluted the goods. The genetic material was thus less effective for artificial insemination procedures to impregnate female dogs. 

‘A Frankenstein monster’:Why the Labradoodle creator regrets breeding the dogs

Labrador Retrievers often rank as America's most popular dog breed. They are happy, fairly easy to train, and always ready to play, especially swim. Vets say these dogs can thrive in a range of environments -- from smaller apartments to houses with big yards, as long as they get a lot of exercise. "If you give him an outlet for his energy, a Lab will be the best dog you could ever have," according to VetStreet.

As a result, a jury at the Clackamas County Circuit Court awarded Weiner $300,000 and Barcroft $100,000. They determined the bank based in the city of Sandy breached its agreement with its clients and negligently harmed their property. 

The breeders originally sued for $800,000, according to the complaint for damages.

An attorney for the International Canine Semen Bank said his clients are requesting a new trial because of of irregularities in evidence and potential witness tampering. 

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