Posted: July 7th, 2022

Case Brief: SeaWorld of Florida, LLC v. Perez

What is a Case Brief?
A case brief is a short summary of a court case that identifies the relevant facts of the case, the issue of the case that the court is deciding, the holding or decision of the court, and the reasoning the court uses to make their decision.
Your Assignment: Write a 1 page case brief for the SeaWorld of Florida vs. Perez case.

The case brief can be easily broken down into these headings

(1)Relevant facts of the case-What facts are important to the case?
(2)The legal issue to be decided-What law was allegedly violated in the case?
(3)The holding in the case-What was the court’s decision?
(4)The reasoning behind the court’s decision-Why did the court decide in the way they did?

Write your case brief in 1 pages, double spaced, with 1-inch margins.

The original assignment is attached and it only needs to be a 1 page brief that answers these 4 questions with the headings. Usually the “Holding in the case section” is fairly brief since thers only so much you can say about that. Thanks!

Name
Professor
Course
Date
Case Brief: SeaWorld of Florida, LLC v. Perez
Relevant Facts of the Case
SeaWorld of Florida LLC operates a theme park offering shows that feature killer whales, including one named Tilikum. Tilikum was known for its aggressive tendencies and had previously killed a trainer. On February 24, 2010, Dawn Brancheau, A SeaWorld trainer, was interacting with Tilikum during a dry work show where the latter grabbed her, pulled her into the water leading to her death by drowning. After Brancheau’s death, the company needs the trainees to all work with Tilikum at a distance or with a barrier in between them. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (PSHA) investigated Brancheau’s death, and Thomas Perez, the United States Secretary of Labor, issued a citation against the organization for violation of the OSHA Act on exposing employees to recognized hazards of working with killer whales without sufficient protection.
Legal Issue
Did SeaWorld Florida willfully violate the general duty clause, § 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act that requires each employer to furnish each other employees’ employment and place of employment to be free of recognized hazards that cause or could cause death or severe physical harm to the employees (United States Court of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit).
The Holding in the Case
Through a vote of 2-1, the three-judge panel in the United States Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit held that SeaWorld did violate its duties as the employer through exposing its trainers to the “recognized hazards while working with killer whales. The rulings would hence allow OSHA to require SeaWorld to limit their employees’ interactions with killer whales.
The reasoning behind the Court’s Decision
The court indicated that OSHA’s requirement of having trainers not to be in direct contact with killer whales during shows without having protective barriers nor keeping a distance was justifiable as the former was acting under the “general duty” clause of the laws on workplace safety. These laws require employers to provide and maintain safe working conditions. The majority of judges stated that the current safety measures were insufficient for eliminating or materially reducing the hazard posed to SeaWorld’s trainer employees as they perform with animals. The statements presented by SeaWorld managers did not illustrate their safety protocols and training, which would make the killer whales safe instead that showed how they recognized the dangers posed in these interactions (Hurley). The judge played on the company’s concerns on the impact of their operations, stating that improved safety will change the essential nature of their business. The dissenting judge stated that individuals that work in dangerous places, whether in the sports or entertainment fields, are aware of the affiliated risks.

Works Cited:
Hurley, Lawrence. “Court Upholds Ruling Against SeaWorld over Trainer Safety.” The U.S, April 11, 2014, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-courts-employment-idUSBREA3A19Q20140411.
United States Court of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit. “Seaworld Of Florida, Llc, Petitioner V. Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, United States Department Of Labor, Respondent.” 2014.

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