SeaWorld fights OSHA findings in trainer's death

September 18, 2011 - 12:30 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld Orlando is fighting $75,000 in penalties from a federal job safety agency after a whale killed its trainer.

A hearing is set for Monday before an administrative judge in the Orlando suburb of Sanford. SeaWorld is expected to argue that three safety citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an investigation into trainer Dawn Brancheau's death last year are unfounded.

The amusement park says the allegations are baseless and unsupported by the evidence.

Animal rights activists plan to protest the hearing with signs saying "Throw the Book at SeaWorld!" and "Stop Imprisoning Orcas!"

Brancheau died Feb. 24, 2010, when a killer whale named Tilikum grabbed her by the pony tail and dragged her underwater violently. The medical examiner said she died of drowning and traumatic injuries.