Court Orders UW to Pay PETA $540,000 in Open Records Lawsuit

For Immediate Release:
October 14, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Seattle – Please see the following statement from PETA Foundation Director of Litigation Asher Smith regarding the decision by the King County Superior Court, filed today, awarding PETA $539,902.45 in fees and penalties in its public records lawsuit against the University of Washington (UW).  The court found that UW had failed to undertake an adequate search for records, including photos and videos, associated with experiments conducted at its Washington National Primate Research Center and documents detailing financial and leadership crises as well as animal deaths. The court also found UW liable based on its policy of routinely destroying photos and videos, making it impossible for the school to comply with public records law. The decision was issued only days after Sen. Cory Booker called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate “why this deeply troubled facility continues to receive federal funding.”

Evading scrutiny of controversial experiments on monkeys by concealing and destroying public records has consequences. That’s the $540,000 message the King County Superior Court sent to the University of Washington today. The school squanders billions of public dollars a year, a fact that underscores its cruelty, incompetence, and contempt for accountability. The ultimate consequence is obvious: The Washington National Primate Research Center must be shut down.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind