Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., et al. Case No. 3:14-cv-2129-MMA-AGS
You received a Notice because the Court has certified a Class in this lawsuit and you were identified as a potential Class Member whose rights may be affected by this lawsuit.
The Court decided that this lawsuit can proceed as a class action because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal district courts. Specifically, the Class certified by the Court is: all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly traded common stock of SeaWorld between August 29, 2013 and August 12, 2014, who did not sell such acquired securities before August 13, 2014, and were damaged. Excluded from the Class are: (i) Defendants; (ii) present or former executive officers of SeaWorld, members of SeaWorld’s Board of Directors, and members of their immediate families; (iii) any of the foregoing persons’ legal representatives, heirs, successors or assigns; and (iv) any entity in which Defendants have or had a controlling interest or any affiliate of SeaWorld.
If you are a Class Member, you may have legal rights and options to exercise before the Court decides the outcome of the case. The Honorable Michael M. Anello of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California is in charge of this class action. The lawsuit is titled Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-02129-MMA-AGS.
To review a copy of the Notice click here.Back To Top
A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several individuals or entities prosecute claims on behalf of all members of a group of similarly situated persons and entities to obtain monetary or other relief for the benefit of the entire group. Class actions avoid the necessity of each member of a class having to file his, her, or its own separate lawsuit to obtain relief. Class actions are used to decide legal and factual issues that are common to all members of a class.Back To Top
In September 2014, the initial complaint was filed in this Court against SeaWorld, The Blackstone Group L.P., and certain of SeaWorld’s officers and directors, asserting violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78t(a) (“Exchange Act”), and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5, as well as Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77k and 77(o) (“Securities Act”).
By Order entered December 11, 2014, the Court appointed Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and Pensionskassen For Børne-Og Ungdomspædagoger as Lead Plaintiffs, pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSLRA”), and approved Lead Plaintiffs’ selection of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Nix Patterson & Roach, LLP (n/k/a Nix Patterson, LLP) as Co-Lead Counsel and Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP (n/k/a Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP) as Liaison Counsel.
On February 27, 2015, Lead Plaintiffs filed their Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint. Defendants moved to dismiss the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on May 29, 2015. Defendants’ motions were fully briefed, and by Order dated March 31, 2016, the Court granted the motions and dismissed the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint without prejudice. By the same Order, the Court granted Lead Plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint addressing the deficiencies noted by the Court. On May 31, 2016, Lead Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint (“Second Amended Complaint”), which removed certain defendants and the Securities Act claims, and asserted violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against Defendants. The Second Amended Complaint is the operative complaint in this Action.
On June 29, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim under Rules 9(b) and 12(b)(6), as well as the PSLRA. Defendants’ motion was fully briefed, and following oral argument, the Court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss on September 30, 2016. On October 28, 2016, Defendants filed their Answer to the Second Amended Complaint, denying the surviving allegations and asserting certain defenses. Additional information regarding the claims and defenses asserted by the parties, along with complete copies of the pleadings, orders, and other documents filed in this Action, are available at www.pacer.gov or at the office of the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, under Case No.: 3:14-cv-2129-MMA-AGS.
On May 19, 2017, Lead Plaintiffs filed their motion for class certification, which Defendants opposed on July 27, 2017. Lead Plaintiffs’ motion was fully briefed and, following oral argument, the Court, by Order dated November 29, 2017, granted Lead Plaintiffs’ motion, certifying the Class, appointing Lead Plaintiffs Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and Pensionskassen For Børne-Og Ungdomspædagoger as Class Representatives, and appointing Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Nix Patterson & Roach, LLP (n/k/a Nix Patterson, LLP) as Class Counsel.
On December 13, 2017, Defendants filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”) seeking permission to appeal the Court’s Order granting class certification. Class Representatives opposed the petition. The Ninth Circuit denied the petition on June 28, 2018.
The litigation is ongoing. The parties completed fact discovery on December 19, 2018 and are currently conducting expert discovery.
No court has made a ruling on the merits of Class Representatives’ allegations or on Defendants’ denials and defenses.Back To Top
The Notice you received is not a settlement notice. This Action is still being litigated, and there is no judgment, settlement or monetary recovery at this time. The Court’s certification of the Class does not guarantee Class Members will receive money or any other benefits; that will be decided later in the lawsuit. If there is a recovery, you will be notified about how to ask for your share. PLEASE KEEP YOUR TRADING RECORDS CONCERNING SEAWORLD. You will need them if there is a future claims process.Back To Top
The Class, as certified by the Court, consists of:
All persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly traded common stock of SeaWorld between August 29, 2013 and August 12, 2014, who did not sell such acquired securities before August 13, 2014, and were damaged.
Excluded from the Class are:
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can get additional information by contacting Class Counsel in this case. The contact information for Class Counsel is set forth in FAQ 10 below. You can also contact the Administrator at Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., et al., c/o Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 3170, Portland, OR 97208-3170; 1-877-893-2672; info@SeaWorldSecuritiesLitigation.com.
If you are a Class Member, you have the right to decide whether to stay in the Class or ask to be excluded from the Class. If you are a member of the Class and wish to be excluded from the Class, you must request exclusion in accordance with the procedure set forth in FAQ 9 below.Back To Top
If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will be bound by all past, present and future orders and judgments in the Action, whether favorable or unfavorable. If any money is awarded to the Class, either through a settlement with Defendants or a judgment of the Court after a trial and appeal, you may be eligible to receive a share of that award. If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you may not pursue a lawsuit on your own behalf with regard to any of the issues in this Action.
If you are a Class Member, you can exclude yourself from the Class. Information on requesting exclusion is provided in FAQ 8 and FAQ 9 below and in the Notice. Pursuant to Rule 23(e)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is within the Court’s discretion whether to allow a second opportunity to request exclusion from the Class if there is a settlement or judgment in the Action after a trial and appeal.
If you are a Class Member and choose to remain a member of the Class, you do not need to do anything at this time other than to retain documentation of your transactions in SeaWorld common stock. Should there be a recovery in the future, members of the Class will need this information in order to support a claim.Back To Top
You need to request exclusion from the Class if you want to pursue your own lawsuit or claims against Defendants about the conduct in this case, do not want to be bound by what the Court does in this case, or if you simply do not want to be part of this class action against Defendants.
If you exclude yourself from the Class—which also means to remove yourself from the Class and is sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class—you will not be bound by any orders or judgments in this Action, but you also will not be eligible to share in any recovery that might be obtained in this Action. If you properly request exclusion from the Class, you will be entitled to pursue an individual lawsuit, claim or remedy, if available, which you may have, at your own expense. Please note, if you decide to exclude yourself from the Class, you may be time-barred from asserting the claims covered by the Action by a statute of repose.Back To Top
If you wish to be excluded from the Class, you must send a letter by first class mail stating that you “request exclusion from the Class in Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., et al., Case No.: 3:14-cv-2129-MMA-AGS.” Your request for exclusion must state your full name, address and telephone number and be signed. If you are signing on behalf of a Class Member (such as an estate, corporation or partnership), please indicate your full name and the basis of your authority to act on behalf of the Class Member. Your request for exclusion must also state the amount of SeaWorld common stock purchased, acquired, and/or sold during the Class Period, as well as the dates and prices of each such purchase, acquisition and/or sale. You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than April 9, 2019 to:
Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., et al.
c/o Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions, Inc.
P.O. Box 3170
Portland, OR 97208-3170
You cannot exclude yourself from the Class by telephone, facsimile or email. Requests for exclusion that do not comply with the above requirements will be invalid, unless otherwise accepted by the Court.Back To Top
The Court appointed the law firms of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Nix Patterson, LLP as Class Counsel. If you have any questions concerning the matters raided on this website or in the Notice, you may contact Class Counsel as follows:
Gregory M. Castaldo, Esq.
Eric L. Zagar, Esq.
Joshua E. D’Ancona, Esq.
KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER
& CHECK, LLP
280 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
Jeffrey J. Angelovich, Esq.
Bradley E. Beckworth, Esq.
NIX PATTERSON, LLP
3600 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.
Austin, TX 78746
Susan Whatley, Esq.
NIX PATTERSON, LLP
205 Linda Drive
Daingerfield, TX 75638
Unless you elect to retain your own personal lawyer, if you remain in the Class, you will not have any direct obligations to pay the costs of the litigation. If there is a recovery by the Class in this Action, all costs and expenses of the Action, including Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees, will be paid from that recovery in an amount approved by the Court. As set forth in FAQ 11 below, if you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
Yes. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. If you do retain your own lawyer, such counsel must enter an appearance on your behalf by filing a Notice of Appearance with the Clerk of the Court at the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, on or before April 9, 2019. Your Notice of Appearance must also be mailed to Class Counsel at the addresses set forth in FAQ 10, on or before April 9, 2019.Back To Top