NPR Prevails in Motion to Compel Discovery in SeaWorld Securities Litigation
April 18, 2017
On April 18, 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew G. Schopler of the Southern District of California granted in substantial part a Motion to Compel Discovery that NPR and its co-Lead Counsel filed in the SeaWorld Securities Litigation. On March 31, 2017, NPR filed a Motion to Compel Discovery against all of the defendants, arguing that the defendants had improperly refused to produce swaths of relevant documents, data, electronically stored information and other discovery to which the class was entitled under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Following significant briefing and a hearing on the motion in San Diego, California, U.S. Magistrate Judge Schopler granted in substantial part NPR’s motion to compel on April 18, 2017. Judge Schopler’s ruling significantly enhances the class’ ability to discover important evidence to support their claims at trial.
In this case, NPR serves as Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of Lead Plaintiffs Arkansas Public Retirement System and Pensionskassen For Børne-Og Ungdomspædagoger, representing a class of investors in securities of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of 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.
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. Cody Hill argued the March 31, 2017 hearing in San Diego on behalf of the Lead Plaintiffs, NPR and its Co-Lead Counsel.