Disney Sued After Woman Falls Off Of Ride
The defendant is demanding a jury trial, which is rare in lawsuits like this. In most cases, it’s the plaintiff that demands the jury trial while the defendant tries to avoid a jury. However, Disney believes that they have a strong case against these allegations.
According to the plaintiff, who has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Disney, their 62-year-old mother fell to her death after being admitted on the Jungle Cruise ride. The family claims that Disney was not operating the one boat that allowed wheelchair access. The woman wanted to go on the ride anyway and got out of her wheelchair to do so. With the help of her daughters, she got on the regular boat with everyone else. Tragedy ensued. The plaintiffs believe that Disney is liable for the death, but Disney believes the woman incurred the risk when she decided to get on the ride without wheelchair access.
The woman was able to get into the boat without an issue. However, getting out of the boat proved much harder. She was required to use her legs to propel her body upward off of the boat. She couldn’t. As a result, she fell backward and suffered a compound fracture to her femur. During surgery, she died of an opportunistic infection. According to her daughters, the Disney staff was snickering as the woman tried to get off the boat. The family claims that Disney was the first in a chain of events that led to the woman’s death.
Disney will claim that the woman incurred the risk when she decided to get on a non-wheelchair-accessible boat.
What about the hospital?
That’s a fair question. How did a 62-year-old woman die of septic shock after breaking her femur? It’s possible that a claim against the hospital could be established, but medical malpractice lawsuits are much more complicated to try, much more costly to try, and take much longer to litigate. They also operate under a different standard of proof than typical personal injury lawsuits. In this case, the plaintiffs would have to establish that the hospital violated the standard of care when the patient presented. In some cases, traditional approaches to sepsis don’t work or would kill the patient anyway. So, it’s not clear that the hospital violated the standard of care, even if the patient died, and even if the patient could have survived.
On the other hand, the allegations against Disney are easier to grasp. They exposed a disabled woman to a known danger, then laughed at her when she injured herself. A jury will decide whether or not the plaintiff incurred the risk for this injury.
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