03/30/2017 10:29AM

Judge allows Dickinson's lawsuit to move forward


A U.S. District Court judge in eastern Kentucky has denied a request by Keeneland to dismiss a lawsuit filed by trainer Michael Dickinson over the enforcement of a judgment related to Dickinson’s patent for an artificial racing surface.

The ruling, signed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Karen Caldwell and first reported by the Paulick Report, knocked down two procedural complaints cited by Keeneland in its motion to dismiss the suit. As a result, Dickinson’s suit to collect a nearly $400,000 judgment in 2011 against a subsidiary of Keeneland and the limited liability company Martin Collins Surfaces and Footings, which was dissolved in 2012 shortly after the judgment was issued, will be allowed to go forward.

Dickinson, who holds a patent on an artificial racing surface he has called Tapeta, has argued that Keeneland is legally required to make good on the judgment despite the dissolution of the companies comprising the partnership. His response to the motion to dismiss included testimony from a former Martin Collins employee asserting that Keeneland controlled nearly all aspects of the partnership.

Keeneland installed an artificial racing surface in 2006, and in 2008, it reached a settlement with Dickinson over patent-infringement claims. The artificial surface was replaced in 2014 with a dirt surface.