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D.C. Circuit Rejects SeaWorld’s Challenge
To Citation for Killer Whale Trainer’s Death

April 17, 2014, 4:00 AM

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 split, rejected SeaWorld of Florida’s challenge April 11 to a citation it received from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau while performing with a killer whale (SeaWorld of Fla. LLC v. Perez).

A three-judge panel emphasized that its ruling requiring increased safety measures applied strictly to SeaWorld performances involving killer whales, not to other perceptibly dangerous activities such as football or motor racing. The court’s ruling didn’t even extend to care-giving activities rendered by SeaWorld staff to ...