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Is Disney Responsible For An Alligator Attack?

November 18, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

On June 14th, something happened at a Disney resort that hasn’t happened for around 30 years. An alligator attacked a person. The 2-year-old victim was attacked while wading in the water only a few feet from his parents. The alligator struggled with the boy’s father during the attack, but the reptile was too strong, and the animal took the little boy out into the lake.

Authorities converged on Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and undertook a massive search for the boy. Five alligators were killed in the process of searching, and the nation rallied behind the boy’s parents with support and prayer, but as time passed, hope waned. Unfortunately, the boy’s body was found the next day.

The parents of the little boy have thanked their supporters all over the nation, but are now asking for privacy as they mourn the passing of their son. However, while they mourn, Disney is preparing for the worst.

Is Disney Responsible For An Alligator Attack?

The company has added new signs in addition to the no swimming signs that were posted near the lake where the boy was taken. These new signs warn guests that snakes and alligators could be in the water. Disney is also removing any jokes or references to alligators, crocodiles or similar reptiles from its theme park attractions. However, most legal experts believe it won’t be enough to excuse Disney from liability.

Businesses, especially those that cater to tourists, are expected to provide a reasonably safe environment for any customers who enter their property. The fact that Disney knew about the alligators in the lake and still had no signs specifically warning visitors about the animals, could put the company on the hook for claims of premises liability and negligence.

Interested in learning more about the responsibility businesses have to their customers? Keep following our blog for more answers to this question and many more.