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Is Disney Liable for the Alligator Attack On Its Premises?

We have all heard by now about the unfortunate tragedy that befell that Graves family on their family vacation to Disney World in June. In case you have not heard though, 2-year old Lane Graves of Nebraska was snatched up by an alligator on the beaches of the Orlando, Florida Disney resort late Tuesday evening, June 14th, and killed.

Is Disney Liable?

While most Floridians are extremely wary of alligators and Florida waterways as a general rule, out-of-staters are not fully aware of the dangers. Yet, many establishments – Disney included – fail to post adequate warning signs on every small body of water that surrounds their property. Yes, there were “No Swimming” signs posted along the beach, but there were no signs warning of alligators. After all, the lake in which the alligator was lurking is a manmade lake, put there by Disney for the sake of the attraction. Disney had no knowledge that an alligator resided in their manmade lake, so therefore did not feel alligator warnings were necessary.

Unfortunately for Disney, there are a lot of factors weighing heavily against them. For starters, being based in Florida, there should be an assumed risk of alligators in all waterways – manmade or not. Secondly, it is Disney’s duty as a business establishment of Florida – and one that caters to out-of-state guests at that – to keep its guests safe. Last but not least, even though Disney claimed to have no knowledge of the gator that attacked the boy, multiple gators were pulled from the same lake after the attack. From any outsider’s standpoint, Disney appears to be fully liable.

Proving Premises Liability in a Personal Injury Claim

While the case of Lane Graves is undoubtedly heart wrenching, it is an extreme example of what could happen when premises fail to post adequate warnings for their guests, or fail to implement proper safety measures in and on every aspect of their property.

There are two basic rules for determining liability for premises accidents:

  1. The owner must keep the property safe. The owner or occupier of the property has a duty to its visitors to remove any unreasonable risk of injury. This includes making sure that the design, construction, and conditions of the property do not pose any risks to its visitors.
  2. The visitor must use the premises normally. This means adhering to all posted warnings and not engaging in any conduct that could be construed as dangerous or reckless, or that could lead to injury.

Not only did Disney fail to adhere to rule number one, but also, according to several news sources, Lane Graves did not contribute to his own death. While liability is still up in the air concerning this particular event, it is safe to say that other businesses should look to Disney as an example of how to better safeguard their visitors.

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured on public property, seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An Orlando, Florida personal injury lawyer can help you prove your case and win the damages that you deserve. If anything, a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that such a tragic accident as what happened to the Graves family does not happen again. Contact The Pendas Law Firm today to speak with a personal injury lawyer, and to right the wrong that has been done to you and your family.

Our firm serves clients throughout Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami.

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