Lawsuit Filed Claiming Disneyland Cast Members Laughed at Disabled Guests
A new lawsuit has been filed against Disneyland that claims that cast members laughed at a disabled women instead of providing assistance as she attempted to get out of a boat on the Jungle Cruise. The guest ultimately suffered a fall.
According to a recent piece that appeared in SiliconValley.com, a wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed against Disneyland at the United States Courthouse in Santa Ana. A Disney spokesperson denied that allegations and wants a trial by jury.
“My clients went to Disneyland with the hopes of creating life-long happy memories and instead are left with the memory of a lack of dignity and respect for their mother which ultimately led to her final demise,” family attorney Michael Jeandron told SCNG. “Two daughters are heartbroken, healing and seeking accountability for Disney cast members who laughed at their struggling mother instead of helping her.”
According the lawsuit, Aguilar visited Disneyland on August 22, 2021 with her adult daughters. When it was the family’s turn to ride Jungle Cruise, Aguilar, went to be seating in one of the regular ride vehicles where wheelchairs are not permitted. This is despite the fact that the ride does have an ADA-accessible boat intended to provide disabled Disneyland guests with the chance to roll onto one of the ride vehicle boats without exiting their wheelchairs.
Aguilar decided to ride one of the none ADA accessible ships with her daughters to assist her. When the ride concluded, Cast members put blocks on top of the existing steps to enable guests exit the boat more easily. However, the blocks were unsecured. The lawsuit alleges that Aguilar’s daughters tried to assist her out of the ride, Disneyland cast members did not insist and reportedly laughed at Aguilar who was struggling to get out of the boat. The lawsuit alleges that this left her feeling “ashamed, embarrassed and dehumanized.”
“Exiting the boat was more difficult as it required her to propel her body upward with her lower legs, which due to her disability was not possible,” according to the lawsuit. “The struggle was apparent and Disney cast members began snickered [sic] and giggling as they watched Ms. Aguilar try to safely exit the boat.”
Aguilar’s initial injury occurred when she lost her balance on the unstable blocks exiting the Jungle Cruise ride vehicle. She fell backwards and fractured her femur in her right leg. Aguilar was then taken by ambulance to an Anaheim hospital where she was required to undergo surgery. Post-surgery she was moved to a rehabilitation center where she stayed for five months. During this time, Aguilar suffered from an infection, went into septic shock and passed away on January 29, 2022.
The lawsuit is for wrongful death and suggests that Aguilar’s passing was ultimately a result of the injury from her Jungle Cruise fall. Aguilar’s family filed the lawsuit on November 18, 2022 for wrongful death and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The family is asking for a monetary judgement for pain and suffering.
According to the SiliconValley, Disney’s lawyers contended that Aguilar’s injuries were caused by her own conduct and that Disney Cast Members did not discriminate against Aguilar.
This is a story that we will continue to follow closely. We promise to keep you posted of further news and updates.
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