SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment faces a proposed class action after allegedly continuing to charge monthly membership fees despite the closure of its parks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Filed in California, the 16-page suit says SeaWorld, with parks in San Diego, Orlando and Houston, closed its locations in March in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Unlike its competitors, SeaWorld has continued to unilaterally charge monthly membership fees at full price given its possession of members’ credit and debit card numbers, the case claims.
“Thus, Defendant has made the deliberate decision to bilk its customers out of a monthly membership fee while its members do not have access to the Defendant’s amusement parks or water parks,” the complaint reads.
As the plaintiff tells it, she bought four annual passes to attend SeaWorld’s San Diego park for $48.99 per month on a month-to-month basis. Despite the closure of its parks in March, SeaWorld charged the plaintiff’s credit card the full $48.99 for her month-to-month membership, the case says. According to the suit, SeaWorld has refunded neither the plaintiff nor any other customer for monthly membership costs.
Included in the proposed class are those in the U.S. who were charged annual membership fees for a period in which SeaWorld’s amusement and water parks were closed.
The suit looks to recover damages under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the state’s unfair competition and false advertising laws.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.