May 19, 2017
On May 19, 2017, NPR and its co-counsel moved for class certification of the claims of investors in securities of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., in the SeaWorld Securities Litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. In this case, NPR serves as Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of Lead Plaintiffs Arkansas Public Retirement System and Pensionskassen For Børne-Og Ungdomspædagoger. Under the protective order entered by the Court in the litigation, NPR’s motion for class certification currently is filed under seal. A hearing on the motion is set for November 13, 2017, in San Diego, California.
The class alleges that SeaWorld made false and misleading statements concerning the cause of its unprecedented attendance declines and other business concerns in 2013 and 2014, which came on the heels of a documentary, Blackfish—a film that indicted SeaWorld’s core business and operations and sparked public outrage over the Company’s treatment of its orca whales. The class asserts claims under Section 10b and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against SeaWorld and certain of its former officers, and under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the officers and the private equity firm that took SeaWorld public in 2013, The Blackstone Group, L.P. On September 30, 2016, U.S. District Judge Michael Anello denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the class’ Second Amended Complaint in its entirety and allowed the litigation to proceed into discovery.
NPR’s complex litigation team—partners Jeff Angelovich, Brad Beckworth and Susan Whatley and associates Lisa Baldwin, Trey Duck, Drew Pate and Cody Hill—lead the prosecution of this case.