On June 16, 2016 the body of a two-year-old toddler was found after he was dragged into the water by an alligator at an Orlando Disney Resort. Questions have been circling since the incident started: Could this have been prevented? What does this mean for alligator-related wrongful death cases? Does it affect other parts of the country, like Salt Lake City? Who is liable?
The question right now is whether or not the Disney resort had prior knowledge that wild animals could have been in that particular body of water prior to the incident. The family’s lawyer is looking to pursue legal action on the grounds that Disney knew something was amiss, as signs that read “No Swimming” had been posted around the small lake. The signs, however, included no mention of alligators in particular.
Not the First Time?
Recent video footage has emerged online of a Disney World employee fighting off an alligator at the famous Splash Mountain, a log flume ride featuring large amounts of water. Alligators have been a major problem in Florida, something unthinkable to those used to dry climates like Salt Lake City. If a gator could make it all the way into the park without paying the admission fee, any lawyer will argue another wrongful death case can’t be far behind.
Rash of Animal Incidents
The question of Disney’s liability is becoming a question amusement parks and attractions across the country need to evaluate for themselves, amid a rash of animal-related incidents. Salt Lake City recently had a brief incident, as a panther escaped from the Hogle Zoo only a few weeks ago — thankfully, it not resulting in a wrongful death. Whether it’s gorillas, alligators or panthers, every attraction is calling its local lawyer and asking what needs to be done to make sure that the Disney Orlando resort incident becomes the last ruined vacation this country sees for a very long time.