The recent death of a toddler in an alligator attack at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando made international news in June. In the weeks since, there were a variety of questions over who should be considered liable for this type of unusual accident.
A seven-foot-long alligator was spotted snatching the two-year-old boy when he waded in shallow water in a lake located at a Disney hotel. The boy’s remains were not discovered until the following day. After an autopsy, it was revealed he died from traumatic injuries and drowning.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are approximately 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and they’re located in all 67 of the state’s counties. They are considered a protected species in the United States. Five gators were killed while officials searched for the boy, as it can be extremely difficult to relocate alligators.
Legal experts have debated publicly whether the case could qualify as a premises liability issue. Disney would have a duty to warn all resort guests about the possible presence of alligators. There would also have to be an investigation into Disney’s knowledge of alligators on the premises and the steps it took to prevent such an accident occurring.
What is known is that the beach where the alligator appeared had many “no swimming” signs, but no posted warnings about alligators specifically. Disney announced after the attack that it would add alligator warning signs to all beach resorts.
If you would like to learn more about what you should do after suffering an injury or illness due to someone else’s irresponsible actions, meet with a knowledgeable Sarasota County personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.