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Death at Disney: Premises Liability

Tragedy struck recently in the happiest place on Earth – Disney World, reports the Sun Herald. An alligator lurking in a lagoon at Disney World attacked and pulled in a 2-year-old boy who was only ankle deep in the water. Questions were immediately raised as to how this attack could happen. How did Disney World, one of the most trafficked theme parks in the world, allow alligators to maintain a presence on their property? Why were there no signs warning visitors of alligators? What’s next for Disney and the family that lost their child?

Danger at the Theme Park

There is little doubt that a lawsuit will eventually be filed against Disney for the death at their theme park. Much of the discussion is likely to center around on whether or not Disney failed in making the premises safe for their visitors.

Premises liability law holds property owners legally responsible for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on an owner’s property. The key issue is often whether the property owners knew or should have known of the danger and whether they took proper precautions to warn visitors of that danger.

In this instance, there may be a strong case against the Disney Corporation for failing to warn visitors of the presence of alligators in the water. Alligators, as wild animals, are presumed to be dangerous. Failure to warn the millions of theme park goers who annually visit that there are alligators in the water could be construed as failing to properly warn visitors of the danger.

While the park did have a sign telling people not to swim in the water, there was no mention of alligators in the water. Something as simple as a sign that alligators were present in the waters could have been enough to persuade visitors from potentially entering the waters.

Perhaps the biggest issue is whether or not Disney knew that alligators were on their property and in the waters. If Disney knew that there were alligators and did not remove them, it suggests that Disney was negligent in their duty of care to the visitors on the property.

Alligators in Mississippi

While alligators do inhabit the waterways of Mississippi, there have been no reported alligator attacks on people in this state’s history. Despite this fact, alligators, like all wild animals, are considered dangerous to humans. In particular, alligators are most active in the spring and summer times when their breeding season occurs, and certain nuisance alligators may pose a heightened threat to people and their property.

It does not take an alligator attack to allow you to bring a case based on a theory of premises liability. Landlords and shop owners who do not maintain their premises, falling objects from construction sites and inadequate security are common examples of owners of premises failing their duty of care to visitors. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a property owner’s failure to maintain the premises, contact experienced Biloxi, Mississippi attorneys to fight for you. Contact the Law Offices of Judy Guice at (228) 374-9787 or visit us online for a free initial consultation.

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