On Monday, August 1st, Judge Jeffrey White, US District Court for the Northern District of California, issued in the case of Anderson v. SeaWorld an order granting in part and denying in part SeaWorld’s motion to dismiss the case, and granting the plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint with the benefit of the Court’s guidance. The Court also set a date for the initial case management conference on October 7, 2016, triggering a variety of deadlines relating to initial disclosures and other pretrial discovery.
David Phillips, Director of Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project called the judge’s ruling: “A blow to SeaWorld’s efforts to have the case thrown out of court”. He continued: “It is high time for SeaWorld to face the facts about the suffering of captive orcas and stop their false statements.”
Although the Court granted parts of SeaWorld's motion to dismiss Anderson, the Court in large part approved of the plaintiffs’ amendments in the proposed Second Amended Complaint and provided additional guidance for the continued advancement of the case through trial.
Anderson v SeaWorld contends that several plaintiffs were misled by SeaWorld’s false advertising about the health and welfare of their captive orcas, violating consumer protection and unfair business practice laws.
The plaintiffs in the case are represented by the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP on a pro bono basis, with input from Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.
Copies of Judge White’s decision are available on request.
Photo credit lolilujah.