ORLANDO, Fla. -- SeaWorld could pay $11.5 million to customers as part of a proposed settlement from a class-action lawsuit, according to recently-filed court documents.
- SeaWorld agrees to pay $11.5M in class-action settlement
- More than 100,000 could be eligible, including Floridians, Texans
- Lawsuit alleges SeaWorld breached 'EZ Pay' annual pass contract
More than 100,000 people who paid for annual passes at SeaWorld's theme parks would be eligible for the settlement, which would still need to be approved by the court.
The motion to approve the settlement was filed June 29 in the U.S. District Court in Tampa.
The lawsuit accuses Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment of automatically renewing annual passes after they expired. The passes were purchased using the "EZ Pay" system, which allows customers to make monthly payments.
According to the court documents, the EZ Pay contracts stated that "except for any passes paid in less than 12 months, this contract will renew automatically on a month-to-month basis following the payment period."
An appeals court previously ruled that SeaWorld breached the contracts by automatically renewing the passes and charging customers after they made the 12 required payments.
Floridians who purchased annual passes between Dec. 3, 2008 and Dec. 3, 2014 could be eligible for refunds.
People who purchased passes in California, Texas and Virginia -- states where SeaWorld operates theme parks -- are also included in the settlement.
Texas residents who purchased passes between Dec. 3, 2009 to Dec. 3, 2014 also could be eligible.
Customers not eligible for compensation from the proposed settlement include those who already received refunds from SeaWorld or used their annual pass after the first year expired.
According to the court filing, SeaWorld did not admit to wrongdoing but agreed to pay the settlement to avoid a trial.
If the settlement is approved, a notice will be sent to affected customers.