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SeaWorld Asks Judge To Repeal OSHA Fine

November 18, 2011 by staff 

SeaWorld Asks Judge To Repeal OSHA Fine, SeaWorld asked a federal judge Thursday to repeal a $75,000 fine imposed by the Occupational Safety Health Administration.
The fine was imposed after the death of whale trainer Dawn Brancheau.

OSHA wrapped up its case Wednesday. The federal agency claims SeaWorld willfully ignored the safety of its whale trainers, and federal officials said they don’t want trainers to have close contact with the whales during shows without some type of physical barrier.

SeaWorld asked the judge to dismiss the case, claiming OSHA didn’t prove its claims. The judge denied the request, and SeaWorld began calling witnesses.

SeaWorld Curator of Animal Training Kelly Flaherty Clark grew agitated on the witness stand when OSHA lawyer John Black suggested that SeaWorld only changes its safety protocol when an incident gets widespread media coverage as it did in the death of Brancheau.

Clark said the death of Brancheau had rocked her team to the core. She denied that SeaWorld’s decision to take trainers out of the water was the result of a public relations concern.

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