Perry & Young, P.A.

Let Our Experienced Attorneys Protect You

Because Personal Injury is All We Do.

After the alligator attack at Disney World, how much should Disney pay?

Shortly after sundown on June 14, an alligator dragged a 2-year-old boy into a man-made lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The boy's body was found the next day, not far from the spot of the initial attack.

The boy's family, according to The New York Times, has not indicated it plans to file a lawsuit. Nevertheless, legal experts across the country have begun to wonder to what extent Disney is liable for the child's death. Many assume the company will pay millions of dollars to settle the matter as quickly - and as quietly - as possible.

Some, however, argue that Disney isn't obligated to pay anything at all.

Is Disney really at fault?

There are an estimated 1.3 alligators in Florida. And a full third of Walt Disney World is a dedicated wildlife conservation area - a known home to many gators.

Disney's legal culpability hinges on its exposure to wrongful death claims - that is, whether the boy's death can be shown to have stemmed directly from Disney's negligence. As reported in the Washington Post, a number of considerations come into play:

  • How common are alligators in the lagoon where the attack happened?
  • Was Disney aware of their presence?
  • Did Disney do enough to warn visitors about the alligators?
  • Did Disney do enough to keep the alligators at bay?

Multiple reports indicate that the company indeed knew about the alligators' presence. Visitors had been feeding them, and Disney employees had asked them to stop. In fact, the very reason that feeding alligators is inadvisable is because it makes them more likely to approach and attack guests.

Why the case is not likely to go to court

Many lawyers have noted that because Disney only posted "No Swimming" signs near the lagoon, but no signs that explicitly warned of alligator attacks, the company might be found culpable. Others have brought up somewhat questionable legal doctrine stipulating that landowners cannot be held responsible for the acts of wild animals.

But most agree a settlement is likely to take place before the matter goes to court. As one attorney put it, "The bottom line is that they have a child whose body was snatched from the parents...I don't think this is the kind of case where you want to be arguing the...subtle details of law."

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Don’t see what you’re looking for?

Review Us
EMAIL US FOR A RESPONSEEMAIL US FOR A RESPONSE

Contact Our Professionals.

Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you with a free case evaluation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contact Us

Panama City Office
200 Harrison Ave.
Panama City, FL 32401

Toll Free: 800-639-3072
Phone: 850-215-7777
Fax: 850-215-4777
Panama City Law Office Map

Tallahassee Office
219 E. Virginia Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Toll Free: 800-639-3072
Phone: 850-215-7777
Fax: 850-215-4777
Map & Directions

Marianna Office
4431 Lafayette Street
Marianna, FL 32446

Toll Free: 800-639-3072
Phone: 850-215-7777
Marianna Law Office Map