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Child Attacked By Alligator At Disney – A Case Of Premises Liability

Orlando, Florida has been a recent sight of tragedy that has been blasted by the mass media all around the globe. Although the horrific Orlando night club shooting seems to have just occurred, another tragedy has yet again cursed the Orlando area. June 14th, 2016 was an evening of unexpected terror for the Graves family. On their trip staying at Disney’s luxe Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the family had been relaxing by the beaches when Lane Graves, a two year old son, decided to start playing in the shore of the seven seas lagoon [1]. Although there were signs that said “No Swimming,” the family still allowed their child to wade into the water at night. Minutes later, Lane was snatched by a live alligator and was tugged at by the beast [1]. Sources say that Lane’s father then tried to fight the alligator to get his child back, but lost the child to the large reptile [1]. The alligator swam under the water, taking the small boy with it. A search for the child was immediately started [2]. Divers and patrollers searched for Lane for over sixteen hours [2].  After the sixteen hour search, they found Lane’s body [3]. Officials claim that he likely passed away from drowning and was found with his body completely intact after the alligator attack [3]. This horrific event is one that could have easily been avoided if both the parents of the child and Disney World had taken proactive measures to avoid the situation. Is it possible that this situation could be part of a case involving premises liability? Absolutely.

What is Premises Liability?

Premise liability is defined as “legal principles that hold landowners and tenants responsible when someone enters onto their property and gets hurt due to a dangerous condition” [4]. Depending on whom the person that was injured is and their purpose for being on the property that they were hurt on, they could be entitled to compensation. If the plaintiff entered the property uninvited by the owner, they are considered “trespassers” [4]. Anyone who approaches a property invited for a social gathering or other recreational purposes is considered a guest, or “licensee” [4]. Plaintiffs who are customers or are exchanging business on another’s property are labeled as “invitees” and should receive the highest level of protection [4]. The idea of invitees receiving the proper protection from the defendant is called “duty of care” [5]. This doctrine was put in place to establish that “directors and officers of a corporation in making all decisions in their capacities as corporate fiduciaries, must act in the same manner as a reasonably prudent person in their position would” [5]. In other words, duty of care is a way to protect the plaintiff’s rights in a situation where the invitee, the plaintiff, is injured due to the negligence of the defendant, or the business, whose property the plaintiff was injured on [5]. Click here to read more information about premises liability.

Disney Alligator Snatches Child – An Act of Premises Liability

Although slip and fall injuries are the most common premises liability cases, it can definitely be argued that the hideous accident that happened at Disney this past week is a premises liability case as well. Even though the child should have never been in the water in the first place, Disney is absolutely at fault for this atrocity as well. Even if there was a sign stating not to enter the water, why would an internationally renowned, multi-billion dollar company allow an invitee on their property to go anywhere near where an alligator or other wild animal might be living. Almost any Florida resident that has lived in the state long enough can testify that Alligators do, and will attack humans outside of the water. Not only was it reckless for Disney to allow people to go anywhere near a lake with wild alligators in them, it was uncaring, and ultimately, despicable. Disney has been aware of the fact that this pond in their resort connected to alligator infested waters and should have seen the dangers of these beasts a long time ago. This specific family was from Nebraska, was unaware of the possible danger of alligators in still waters, and most of all was not expecting an alligator to appear in a lake at, of all places, a Walt Disney resort. Florida law states under duty of care how invitees have a right to be treated “in the same manner as a reasonably prudent person in their position would” [5]. Is this how the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, would like to be treated? Unless the mourning family is not interested in contacting an attorney or has previously signed a legal agreement stating that in the event that an emergency like this would happen Disney would not be held liable, it is highly recommended that the Graves family contact an experienced personal injury attorney. With the assistance of a qualified attorney, they could receive the compensation the family is entitled to.

Dolman Law Group

If you have been injured in an accident on another individual’s property that he or she could reasonably have prevented by taking better care of the property, you could have grounds for a premises liability claim. If you have been victimized by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin discussing your claim. Contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm to learn more about your options for pursuing a premises liability claim. Here, we can provide you with the compassionate legal guidance and representation you need as you pursue your personal injury claim. Do not wait to make the call – contact the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900 to get started on your case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/premises-liability-attorneys/

References:

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/us/alligator-child-florida-orlando-disney.html
[2] http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/us/alligator-attacks-child-disney-florida/
[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/15/nebraska-toddler-dragged-into-water-by-alligator-at-disney-resort-in-orlando/
[4] https://www.hg.org/premises-liability.html
[5] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/duty_of_care