SeaWorld case goes before appellate court 

click to enlarge Tilikum | Dawn Brancheau
  • 2010 AP file photo/Todd Connell
  • This file photo made from video provided by Todd Connell shows trainer Dawn Brancheau before the accident in which killer whale Tilikum, left, pulled her into the water and killed her at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

A federal appellate court in Washington is hearing arguments on whether citations issued to SeaWorld Orlando should be upheld following the death of a trainer.

Three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia are listening to arguments Tuesday.

SeaWorld is contesting two citations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.

She was killed in February 2010 when a six-ton killer whale named Tilikum pulled her into a pool.

An administrative judge last year upheld the citations but downgraded them from willful to serious.

SeaWorld is arguing that the job safety agency overreached with its citations.

One of the attorneys representing the marine park before the appellate court is the son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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