Lisbon Falls stable owner counter sues former owners of ailing horse

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AUBURN — The owner of a horse stable in Lisbon Falls is suing a couple from that town, claiming she was slandered or libeled by their reporting to a local newspaper that she was mistreating one of her horses by intending to have it euthanized.

Lisa Bosse, owner of Riverview Farm, filed a counter-claim in Androscoggin County Superior Court following a complaint and motion for a restraining order filed against her last fall by Jayne and Daniel Buck Soules.

The couple sued Bosse in an effort to regain ownership of a horse they had sold to Bosse. They learned that Bosse intended to have the horse, Knotty, euthanized. Bosse said the horse was at risk of falling and dying from exposure due to chronic medical conditions. She had two veterinary reports on which she based her conclusions.

In her counter-claim, Bosse says the Souleses spoke with a reporter at the Sun Journal and made “certain statements that stated, implied, suggested and inferred that Ms. Bosse was callously and grossly mistreating Knotty, maliciously and without good cause intended to kill Knotty and/or intended to kill Knotty for the purpose of profiting from Knotty’s horse meat.’”

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Bosse’s attorney, David Van Dyke, wrote in court papers that the statements and communications attributed to the Souleses were “false and defamatory” and were harmful to Bosse’s reputation, social standing, business and profession.

Bosse claims she was compelled to spend money to treat the horse because of the “frivolous and bad faith” lawsuit brought against her by the Souleses.

In her counter-claim, Bosse is seeking a judgment that will compensate her, plus restitution, together with punitive and/or exemplary damages. She charges intentional or negligent infliction of emotional stress, unjust enrichment and malice.

The Souleses responded to Bosse’s counter-claim, denying all counts.

The roughly 20-year-old gelding was euthanized in mid-January after both parties agreed with a third veterinarian that Knotty’s physical condition had further deteriorated.

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