Lloyd Williams settles Amralah damages case against vet
Racehorse owner and property developer Lloyd Williams has quietly settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with the veterinary surgeon of his horse Amralah after it was scratched from last year’s Melbourne Cup because of a positive drug test.
Mr Williams, who is rated a good chance to win his fifth cup tomorrow with Bondi Beach, would not comment on the details of the settlement, where he was asking for up to $4.6 million.
He was suing the Ballarat Veterinary Clinic and equine specialist Brian Anderson for allegedly injecting Amralah with the banned substance dexamethasone, leading to its expulsion from the $6.4m race it was favoured to win.
Mr Williams argued the veterinary surgeon had told him the traces of the drug, used as medicine, would be out of its system before the race, and filed a writ for damages last year.
A notice of discontinuance was lodged in the Supreme Court of Victoria on August 29, meaning the matter had been settled.
“The office would have done that, it is not something that worried me,” Mr Williams told The Australian.
Mr Williams was among nine plaintiffs in the case, with the lead plaintiff being his son Nicholas.
Their solicitor Nathan Kuperholz said the case was settled on confidential terms.
The solicitor for the defendants, Meridian Lawyers principal Kellie Dell’oro, declined to comment.
The Australian can reveal details from the final statement of claim lodged by the plaintiffs on July 29.
They were claiming damages up to $1m for lost prize money in the Melbourne Cup, the Tokyo City Stakes, the Emirates Stakes, the Hong Kong Cup and the Japan Cup. They argued Amralah lost up to $3.6m in value due to its failed drug test.
Mr Williams and others said the disqualification reduced its value from $3m to $100,000 in one fell swoop. They accepted there could be alternative ways to decide the amount owed that could have reduced a potential payout to less than $2m.
For example, the statement said compensation for the initial loss in value of the horse could be as low as $900,000.