Posted On: August 25, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

OSHA Fines SeaWorld in Trainer’s Drowning Death from Killer Whale Attack

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined SeaWorld $75,000 following the death of a trainer who was mauled by one of its killer whales. Federal workplace safety officials say that the sea park committed a “willful” violation when it exposed trainers in a manner that could allow the animals to strike or drown them. OSHA also contends that SeaWorld has shown “plain indifference” or “intentional disregard” when it comes to employee safety and failed to “make meaningful changes” to improve such deficiencies.

Trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed last February when a 12,000-pound killer whale pulled her into the water and drowned her at the SeaWorld in Orlando. Dozens of tourists, some of them were attending the "Dine with Shamu" show at the time, witnessed the tragic accident.

Since Brancheau’s death, trainers are no longer allowed in the tanks with orcas.

According, Brancheau’s husband Scott Brancheau has hired a wrongful death lawyer. It is not known at this time whether he intends to sue SeaWorld or another party.

Generally, employees and their families are usually entitled to workers’ compensation or survivors’ benefits and cannot sue an employer for personal injury or wrongful death. However, Florida law has a narrow exception that allows an employee to file a civil suit against an employer if the latter knew without a doubt that the worker was at risk of injury or death.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Filing a Chicago workers’ compensation claim or a third party injury lawsuit can be a confusing process unless you have an Illinois workers’ compensation law firm working to ensure that you receive all that you are owed. Getting hurt or losing someone you love in a work accident is an unfortunate occurrence and there is no reason that you should incur additional financial losses when other parties should be held liable.

Husband Of Killed SeaWorld Trainer Hires Lawyer, WESH, August 25, 2010

Feds cite SeaWorld in trainer's death, SignonSanDiego, August 23, 2010

SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau dies in killer-whale attack in Orlando, Palm Beach Post, February 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:


SeaWorld Trainer Dies in Fatal Killer Whale Attack, ChicagoWorkersCompensationLawyersBlog, February 25, 2010

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