The Florida owners of 21 polo horses that died after getting an improper vitamin mixture filed a $4 million lawsuit against a pharmacy. Quantum Management Co. of Wellington, Florida, and three player-owners filed suit in state court in Palm Beach County. It was alleged that Franck’s Pharmacy in Ocala, Florida, is solely responsible for improperly mixing a vitamin compound, leading to the horses’ fatal selenium poisoning. Franck’s calls itself “the nation’s premier compounding pharmacy” on its Web site.
The Lechuza Caracas polo team was preparing April 19, 2009, to play in the U.S. Open at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington when the team’s horses started to falter and collapse. Fourteen died that day and seven others died overnight. The deaths sparked local, state and federal investigations that are continuing. The team’s veterinarians had ordered doses of the drug Biodyl, which is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to help the horses recover from the wear and tear of polo play. The drug reduces physiological stress. The team asked Franck’s to create a Biodyl substitute, mixing the key components together. The horses were considered worth at least $100,000 each. Unfortunately, nine horse owned by polo players were not insured.
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