Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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The panel denied the petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc, affirming the panel's January 12, 2018 opinion affirming the district court. In the January opinion, the panel determined that no reasonable fact finder could conclude that the injuries of a killer whale held in captivity, Lolita, presented a "threat of serious harm" sufficient to trigger liability under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The opinion reflected the panel's determination that the law would be better served by announcing the "threat of serious harm" rule, without defining its contours, and allowing district courts the flexibility to apply that rule to future circumstances with which they are presented. The panel held that the January opinion aligned with Congress's intent in drafting the ESA: to prevent extinction. Finally, the panel rejected PETA's alternative argument that the panel's reading of the ESA conflicted with regulatory definitions. View "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Miami Seaquarium" on Justia Law

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PETA filed suit against Seaquarium, alleging that it perpetrated an unlawful take by harming or harassing Lolita, a killer whale, in violation of section 9(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1538(a)(1)(B). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Seaquarium, but did not agree that actionable harm or harassment included only deadly or potentially deadly harm. Rather, the court held that Seaquarium was entitled to summary judgment because the evidence, construed in the light most favorable to PETA, did not support the conclusion that the conditions of her captivity pose a threat of serious harm to Lolita. View "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Miami Seaquarium" on Justia Law