A New Jersey biomedical company accused by an animal welfare group of mistreating monkeys has sued the organization and the activist who infiltrated and secretly videotaped one of its research labs.
Princeton, N.J.-based Covance Co. accused the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and its infiltrator, Lisa Leitten, of committing fraud, conspiring to harm its business and violating a nondisclosure agreement Leitten signed when she began her 11-month stint as a primate technician at Covance's Vienna, Va., lab in April 2004.
"This type of malicious activity by PETA, in which it conspires with individuals to lie about their intentions, to videotape and potentially disrupt medical research, and then to launch vile disinformation campaigns against pharmaceutical research companies, has got to stop," said Covance lawyer James Lovett.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, the company said it wants PETA and Leitten to hand over the original versions and all copies of her notes and videotapes, to stop publicizing the campaign on its Web sites, and to never again infiltrate Covance. The civil suit, filed in Fairfax County, Va., also seeks money for attorney fees and other, unspecified relief.