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Tourist family sues SeaWorld, claims child who saw orca attack is traumatized

A New Hampshire family who witnessed the Feb. 24 death of a killer-whale trainer at SeaWorld Orlando has sued the company in state court in Orlando, claiming their child was traumatized by the event.

The family of 10-year-old Bobby Connell says the boy has been bothered by nightmares ever since seeing trainer Dawn Brancheau battered and drowned by a six-ton killer whale named Tilikum, according to a report about the lawsuit in the New York Daily News.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment spokesman Fred Jacobs said the company had just learned of the lawsuit and has not yet reviewed it. He said SeaWorld was contacted in March by a lawyer claiming to represent the Connell family who threatened to have the family appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show if the company did not “immediately agree to a cash payment.”

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