No more appeals of the OSHA fines against SeaWorld. This means OSHA’s use of the General Duty Clause (GDC) in this case stands.
In a financial filing, SeaWorld stated it won’t appeal the OSHA fine and abatement order to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That means a federal appeals court ruling stands. SeaWorld was ordered to pay $12,000 in fines and abate the hazard of trainers working with killer whales during performances.
SeaWorld had argued that OSHA’s use of the GDC in the February 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau was overly broad.
It also opposed the abatement order. OSHA suggested the trainers not be in the water with the whales during performances or that they work behind barriers.
SeaWorld has stopped having the trainers in the water with the whales during performances.
When the citations against the theme park were first upheld in 2012 by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), OSHA administrator David Michaels said:
“This is one more example that OSHA can use the General Duty Clause in most situations where we don’t have a standard.”
Michaels said it was important that SeaWorld abate the hazards faced by its animal trainers working with the killer whales.
SeaWorld had appealed the citations and abatement order to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC. The court upheld the OSHRC decision.
The next appeal would have been to the U.S. Supreme Court, but with SeaWorld’s decision to end its appeal, that won’t happen.