Cornell: Lost Horse Semen to Cost School $200,000


An example of the Holsteiner breed. Credit: Wikipedia

Ithaca, NY — Cornell University must pay more than $200,000 to a New York horse-breeding firm after horse semen was accidentally destroyed by the school’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Monday a jury found Cornell liable, after the horse owner sued for losing valuable breeding material.

“What they destroyed was unique, valuable” and irreplaceable, Anthony J. Siano, attorney for Fox Run Farm LLC of Millbrook, NY, told the Poughkeepsie Journal Wednesday. In January, Lynn Reed, owner of the facility, sued Cornell University, its College of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

After storing 212 units of semen from a Holsteiner warmblood horse in 2004,  Reed found the destroyed samples in 2005 due to what the lawsuit described as a “defective cryogenic storage tank.” Cornell, once the loss was discovered, sent Reed a $2,045 check for the samples Monday’s jury valued at $212,841.83.

A Cornell University spokesman would not comment on the ruling. The school has about two weeks to appeal the decision.