Princeton, New Jersey, June 6, 2005
— Covance Inc. ( NYSE: CVD
) has announced that it filed a lawsuit against PETA and its agent Lisa Leitten, charging fraud, violation of employee contract, and conspiracy to harm the company's business by deceitfully infiltrating and videotaping the company's Vienna, Virginia facility.
In the lawsuit, Covance charges Ms. Leitten with lying about her true intentions to gain employment at Covance and deliberately violating her confidentiality agreement with the company. Covance also charges PETA with engaging in a conspiracy with Ms. Leitten to harm the company's business and that PETA has interfered with Covance's contract with Ms. Leitten.
"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 to then launch vile disinformation campaigns against pharmaceutical research companies, has got to stop," said James Lovett, Covance's General Counsel. "These deceitful acts do nothing to improve the care of research animals and only serve to impede the development of safe and effective new medicines to treat HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, heart disease, leukemia, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other diseases."
In addition to an order against similar improper acts in the future, Covance seeks the return of all video, audio and other materials taken by PETA and Ms. Leitten in light of their legal obligations, except copies already provided to the regulatory authorities. Return of all original footage is especially important so that it can be examined for evidence of both (i) what Covance considers PETA's unsubstantiated claims of misconduct and (ii) potential distortion by PETA to further its aim to end all animal-related research for new treatments for serious diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and diabetes.
Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with annual revenues greater than $1 billion, global operations in 17 countries, and approximately 6,800 employees worldwide. Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases , and SEC filings can be obtained through the Covance website.