A vehicle makes its way through the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim. The Game Farm is the subject of a lawsuit that alleges it does not properly care for its animals. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

A vehicle makes its way through the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim. The Game Farm is the subject of a lawsuit that alleges it does not properly care for its animals. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Judge stays course on order in lawsuit against Olympic Game Farm

Sequim attraction had sought to dismiss parts of litigation

TACOMA — A federal judge will not reverse his order denying Olympic Game Farm’s motion to dismiss portions of the Animal Legal Defense Fund lawsuit against the Sequim attraction.

In part of the game farm’s motion to reconsider, the game farm argued that the judge and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) have erroneously said that the game farm admitted to unlawfully possessing Roosevelt elk.

The game farm had sought to remove public nuisance elements from the lawsuit, but U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton has ruled the lawsuit can move forward in whole.

“The public nuisance claim is plausibly pled at this stage, whether or not it will ultimately succeed,” Leighton wrote in an order June 24.

The ALDF sued Olympic Game Farm in December, alleging that the Sequim-area business is in violation of the Endangered Species Act and asking the court to require the game farm to give up its endangered or threatened species to a sanctuary.

In May, Leighton denied the game farm’s motion to dismiss certain elements of the lawsuit, calling the game farm’s motion “an attempt to prune this ‘Bonsai tree’ with tweezers and fingernail clippers.”

The game farm filed a motion in March to dismiss the state public nuisance and animal cruelty claims, saying state law does not recognize private cause of action to enforce cruelty laws.

A five-day non-jury trial is currently scheduled for May 4, 2020.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] news.com.

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