SeaWorld’s Treatment of Killer Whales

August 2018: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal.

June 2016: A Notice of Appeal regarding the decision to dismiss this action was filed. (Hall et al v. Seaworld Entertainment, Inc., Case No. 16-55845, 9th Cir.)

May 2016: A federal judge dismissed this action finding that, among other things, plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege reliance or provide enough detail about the allegedly false statements. This action was dismissed with prejudice.

January 2016: After a complaint consolidating similar class-action lawsuits was filed in August 2015 and dismissed without prejudice in December 2015, an amended complaint making similar allegations (i.e., that SeaWorld’s marketing campaign misleadingly “masks the ugly truth about the unhealthy and despairing lives of [] whales”) was filed. To read the amended complaint, click here.

Early 2015: Between March and May 2015, four false advertising class-action lawsuits were filed against SeaWorld.

Three of the lawsuits claim that SeaWorld misleadingly represents, among other things, that it “cares for,” “protects,” “nurtures,” and creates a “fun, interesting, and stimulating” environment for its killer whales when, according to plaintiffs, SeaWorld hides the mistreatment of its whales and the detrimental impact captivity has on them. To see the complaint from each case, click on the case information below.

The fourth lawsuit claims that SeaWorld misleadingly markets its tickets as “a ticket to the magic of orcas living happily and performing for those lucky enough to enter its gates” when, in reality, the whales live “unhealthy and despairing lives.” In addition, the complaint alleges that SeaWorld hides the mistreatment of its whales and the detrimental impact captivity has on them. (Kuhl et al v. SeaWorld LLC et al, Case No. 15-cv-574, M.D. Fla.)


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When a complaint is dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled.

When a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, an amended version of the complaint can be refiled.


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