Lawsuit Filed Against SeaWorld
A federal lawsuit has been filed against SeaWorld alleging the company to have deliberately deceived customers about the treatment and condition of its captive orcas
The lawsuit was filed in California on Wednesday by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a law firm which specialises in class-action cases.
The named plaintiff is Holly Hall, a woman from Temecula, California, who took her two grandchildren and daughter to SeaWorld San Diego in 2011 and 2012. According to the complaint, Hall would not have bought tickets to the theme park had SeaWorld disclosed facts about the condition and behaviour of its captive whales.
The complaint lists 'psychoactive drugging, forced separation of calves from mothers, forced and unnatural breeding, and cramped conditions' as factors that lead to aggressive behaviour and disease in the orca whales, adding that SeaWorld had also hidden dangers to orca trainers.
SeaWorld defended its practices once again, saying there was 'no higher priority for SeaWorld than the health and well-being of its animals.'
The company called the lawsuit a publicity stunt aiming to promote last week's book release of Beneath The Surface - Killer Whales, Seaworld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, by former SeaWorld orca trainer John Hargrove.
Hargrove, starring in the 2013 documentary Blackfish which first casted light on the the mistreatment on captive orcas and the threat they pose to employees interacting with the whales, was recently represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.