Today, Hagens-Berman filed a ground-breaking class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of SeaWorld customers against SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS). The lawsuit alleges that SeaWorld deliberately concealed the unethical treatment and conditions of its captive orcas and has hidden dangers to whale trainers, misleading the public through a deceptive and false-illusion that the park’s whales are thriving.
Orlando Sentinel reported:
Hagens Berman recently represented John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer who on Tuesday released a book critical of the theme-park company. SeaWorld had sent a "threatening letter" to Hargrove about the book's publication, attorney Steve Berman said.
"Word got out that we were looking into the veracity of his allegations and one thing led to another," Berman said. "We got contacted by a consumer and decided that SeaWorld has been misleading the public about the conditions these orcas are living in, so we filed a lawsuit."
Attorney Steve Berman told Orlando’s WFTV,
We filed the lawsuit on behalf of the California grandmother who took her grandchildren to the park in San Diego and is now very upset she learned the truth about treatment of orcas.
Berman has been voted one of the 100 most influential attorneys in America by The National Law Journal and recent successes include:
- $1.6 billion settlement with 20 million class members.
- Represented clients against Exxon Mobil affected by the 10 million gallons of oil spilled off the coast of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez (multi-million dollar award)
» Big Pharma
- Represented clients against Big Pharma in various actions ranging from price-fixing schemes to antitrust activities (more than $1 billion in aggregate settlements)
» Wall Street
- Class-action securities case against Charles Schwab ($235 million settlement)
- Represented Enron employees who had their retirement accounts wiped out by Enron’s fraud (largest ERISA settlement in U.S. history)
- Represented Bernard L. Madoff investors in a suit filed against JPMorgan Chase Bank, one of the largest banks in the world (approved $218 million settlement)
Consumers who have purchased tickets, memberships or SeaWorld orca experiences over the past four years at any of the three SeaWorld locations may contact Hagens Berman by emailing SeaWorld@hbsslaw.com or by calling 206-623-7292. Additional information about the investigation is available at www.hbsslaw.com/seaworld. To join this class action, consumers do not need to live in a state in which SeaWorld operates.