Family Sues After Disabled Woman Falls On Disney Jungle Cruise Excursion
The family of a disabled woman has filed a lawsuit against Disney which has now been converted into a wrongful death claim. According to the lawsuit, the woman was attempting to board a Jungle Cruise Line attraction. The woman allegedly broke her femur in an attempt to board the attraction and 5 months later, she died. The injury occurred in August of 2021 and then the plaintiff died in January 2022.
The lawsuit accuses Disney of allowing a disabled passenger to board the ride, failing to ensure that the ride was safe for all guests, and then laughing as the woman sustained a severe leg injury.
The Jungle Cruise excursion is a guided tour of the Disney theme park along a river. It requires a passenger to step down onto a small vessel.
Specific allegations against Disney
The lawsuit states that the woman was able to board the small vessel with the help of her daughters, but when she tried to disembark, she had difficulty. While the vessel had steps, the plaintiffs claim that there were small blocks positioned on the steps and these blocks were unsecured. The mother fell off of the unsecured blocks and broke her femur. She required months of rehabilitation, but eventually succumbed to her injuries five months later.
The lawsuit further contends that as the woman was struggling to disembark from the vessel, Disney employees laughed at her as she was trying to disembark from the vessel, adding insult to injury.
The lawsuit contends that Disney should have warned the woman before she struggled to get onto the boat that it would be very difficult for her to get off the boat as she would have to step up using her lower legs to propel her. This was something she could not safely do. Disney did not have a wheelchair-accessible boat, a fact that, according to the plaintiffs, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The family is seeking damages to cover the cost of the plaintiff’s medical care, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering damages for both themselves and the plaintiff.
What defense will Disney raise?
Disney will claim that the woman should have known better than to get on a ride that she was unable to get off of properly. However, every amusement park has a duty of care to ensure that passengers on a ride are warned about potential dangers. In this case, no warning was offered and there were no wheelchair-accessible options for the plaintiff to enjoy.
Without knowing how the defense will respond (it seems likely they will fight the claim) it’s hard to say who will win this lawsuit. Disney is currently denying the allegations set forth by the plaintiffs, including allegations that they snickered as the woman injured herself.
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