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Is Disney Liable for the Alligator Toddler Attack?
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ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 15: The search continues for a 2-year-old boy grabbed by an alligator at A Disney resort hotel. Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The lagoon where the boy was snatched. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times. 

Summary: A litigation attorney argues that Disney is liable for the death of the toddler who was killed by an alligator. 

Could Disney have prevented the recent tragic death of a toddler snatched by an alligator at its resort? Many have wondered if the amusement park knew of alligators in the water and chose not to warn its unsuspecting guests.

  
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PEOPLE spoke to Orlando attorney Matt Morgan who has worked on cases of negligence against theme parks. He stated that he believes the family of the toddler can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Walt Disney Corporation.

The toddler, Lane Graves, was wading in the shallow water of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and an alligator grabbed him. His father Matt rushed into the water, but Lane was already pulled under. Matt and a lifeguard were unable to save the boy, who whose body was 15 yards away the next day.

“No swimming” signs were posted by the touristy lagoon, which has beach chairs and umbrellas on its shore, but there was no mention of the possible threat of animals or alligators. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said that the boy did not appear to be engaging in risky behavior when he was attacked.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said the resort removes alligators from the lagoon on a routine basis. He added that they have a permit which allows them to kill the reptiles, and Morgan said that this routine and permit are proof that Disney knew about the threat of gators. Their knowledge and lack of disclosure makes them liable, he said.

Walt Disney Resorts Vice President Jacquee Wahler said that the company is looking into the lagoon’s signage. In other parts of Florida, the Department of Environmental Protection hangs signs about alligator threats in areas such as swimming pools and walkways. Morgan argues that it is unreasonable to assume a tourist would be aware of alligators without a warning sign.



Morgan stated that he believed Disney would offer a settlement to the Graves’ family, but he stated that if the Graves took the case to trial they could stand to win a 8 figure sum.

Do you think Disney is liable for the boy’s death? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: PEOPLE



 

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