The shareholders of Sea World have something to smile about after a District Judge in the United States Issued a class action status against the company for misleading them about the “Blackfish Documentary” impact. Issuing the order in Southern District of California, Judge Michael Anello raised hopes for investors who had filed the lawsuit in 2014.
In 2014, the investors moved to court suing the executive directors of Sea World for ignoring, misleading and denying the backlash the documentary has caused. The film featured killer whales held in captivity and a trainer’s death.
The Evidence Presented
In court, internal emails showed that sea world executives knew about the damage the film was having on the business. They not only chose to ignore it but also failed to inform the investors about it thus misleading them into believing everything was cakes and ale. In reality, the business was hurting between late 2013 and early 2014. Several months later, the company admitted their knowledge in the devastating effect the “Blackfish” film was causing.
In the aftermath of the lawsuit, the company acknowledged that it was under investigations following the comments made by its executives. The United States Department of justice together with the commission of security and exchange made swift moves on the company.
In the verdict, judge Anello ruled that only those who owned shares at Sea World Company between August 29, 2013, and August 12, 2014, were to be enjoined in the case. The verdict also ordered that the owners must not have sold their shared before 13th August 2014. The order excluded former Sea World executive directors, current directors and their close family members.
Sea World’s Response
In response to the order issued, the company stayed away from the case saying that it was focusing on its mission of protecting wildlife. The company maintained that it would not comment on the pending litigation but continues to inspire people to conserve ocean life.
True to their mission, the company ended breeding of whales used in theatre at its parks to promote the natural behavior of the sea creature last year. Currently, the company is acquiring new rides and embracing new ways of attracting people to their several parks. The company’s president remained optimistic that it will be a new term full of financial growth and development.