Lawsuit filed against SeaWorld, fireworks company in deadly Orlando warehouse explosion

Suit accuses defendants of negligence

ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld Entertainment and a fireworks company are some of the parties being sued by the family of one of the victims of a deadly explosion at a warehouse in south Orange County last December.

Four people died in the blast at the warehouse in the Taft area.

The family of victim Elizabeth Tiralongo filed the lawsuit against a number of companies, including Magic in the Sky Florida and Magic in the Sky, a fireworks company.

The suit claimed employees were not properly trained, the warehouse location was unlicensed and the smoke alarms did not work properly.

Elizabeth Tiralongo (Morgan and Morgan)

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

An Orange County commissioner in December learned the business that was holding the fireworks had permits to store furniture in the warehouse, not fireworks.

The lawsuit also claimed that SeaWorld, as a partner with the fireworks company, should have known about the working conditions in the warehouse and failed to take actions to minimize any risks. The suit accuses SeaWorld of negligence as a result.

“The defendant permitted, endorsed, and profited from unlicensed, unapproved, unpermitted business operations of its partners in a joint venture and did not ensure that its partners obtained proper licenses, approval, permitting for same,” the suit read.

Attorney Ryan Will, who is representing Tiralongo’s family, employees who died in the explosion had a significant lack of training. One employee was still starting off in his job and had received no training, Will said.

“We see tremendous lack of training with respect to the young people that were employed both by Magic in the Sky and Jacob J Dell Productions,” Will said. “When we look at the business operation itself, what we see is kids — And they’re kids, really. They’re in their early 20s — hired from the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, and they’re brought to work in a setting where they’re working with live explosives.”

Will added that SeaWorld was likely also at fault in the incident.

“SeaWorld probably shouldn’t have been in business with an individual that cut the corners and ignored safety standards for its employees,” Will said. “Magic in the Sky had larger fireworks than it should have, more powerful fireworks than it should have. It was working out of an unlicensed, unpermitted warehouse with untrained staff.”

News 6 has reached out to SeaWorld for comment but has yet to hear back.

The warehouse fire and explosion are still under investigation at this time.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.