Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel reports:
SeaWorld Orlando and the family of a park trainer drowned last month by a killer whale are preparing for a legal battle to prevent video footage of the accident from being aired on television or online.
The parties have held talks with Jon Mills, an emeritus dean at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law and a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, about representing them in efforts to block release of video recordings of the Feb. 24 tragedy, in which a 6-ton orca pulled 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau into its tank and drowned her in front of park guests.
At issue is video captured by SeaWorld’s surveillance cameras, which the park has turned over to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as part of the agency’s investigation into the accident. SeaWorld has acknowledged that its cameras recorded the event, though the park has declined to describe the footage in detail.
The Sheriff’s Office investigation, which the agency calls a routine death investigation and not a criminal probe, could conclude at any time. Once that happens, the materials it has obtained would become subject to Florida’s public-records laws.
Read more in the Chicago Tribune.