The grandmother’s attorney, Steve Berman, said, “People who go to the whale shows are consumers of a product, and they’re not being told the truth about that product.”
Berman said they are not after much money. They want a refund on tickets that were about $80, but they also want change. They want disclosures about how they say the whales are treated; be it on a sign, their website or on tickets.
“These whales are poorly treated; they’re drugged, the mothers are separated from their calves,” Berman said.
SeaWorld’s website said they do not separate the mothers from their calves. 10News obtained video of them swimming together.
Park officials could not go on camera since it is a legal matter, but 10News found a clip online with killer whale trainer Lindy Donahue.
In the video, Donahue said, “The truth is that we couldn’t love these animals more, and every single day we are so committed to their health and well-being.”
SeaWorld sent 10News this statement:
“The class action lawsuit was filed today by attorneys who represent John Hargrove. This is clearly a publicity stunt intended to generate more news coverage of John Hargrove’s anti-SeaWorld book. Despite the claims by Hargrove, PETA and other animal rights activists, SeaWorld is among the world’s most respected zoological institutions, regularly inspected by the U.S. government and two professional zoological associations. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently granted SeaWorld accreditation from its independent Accreditation Commission. There is no higher priority for SeaWorld than the health and well-being of its animals.”
Bailey Jackson, a SeaWorld visitor who is now studying criminal justice in college, said she does not think the lawsuit will hold up unless the woman has specifics of abuse.
“There’s animals confined everywhere. People have pets. It’s not just SeaWorld where they’re confined,” said Jackson.
Berman’s law firm said people who have purchased tickets 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.
Find out more about the lawsuit here:http://www.hbsslaw.com/seaworld