Disneyland sued by family of deceased over Jungle Cruise incident

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Disneyland employees laughed at the struggles of a disabled woman rather than help her out of a Jungle Cruise boat before she suffered a fall that ultimately led to her death, a lawsuit alleges. A wrongful death lawsuit against Disneyland, alleging that a 66-year-old Ventura County woman fell while getting out of a Jungle Cruise boat and died five months later due to complications from her injuries, has been assigned to a federal judge.

Read more from The Orange County Register.

Related parks

Jeff's avatar

I imagine this gets settled out of court, but I have a very hard time believing that cast members would ever laugh at a disabled person. It's just the opposite of what they do. I know there are limitations to what they can do when assisting someone regardless, and I can't understand why they didn't just wait for the ADA boat. It literally put the woman's life at risk. Also, are they suing the hospital?

Last edited by Jeff,

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

OhioStater's avatar

I would assume getting it settled out of court is the goal, because $.

It would appear the family simply chose not to wait for the ADA boat. The daughters are no doubt carrying around a lot of guilt, because they are the ones that chose to help her on and off the non-ADA boat, and probably the ones that encouraged this scenario to play out. Play stupid games...

The story also seems a little contradictory, as it states that the workers took time to "place blocks" (not sure if I can accurately picture exactly what they did) under some steps to actually go out of their way to help her due to her lack of mobility.

But I'll play devil's advocate for a moment and say OK, maybe someone did giggle/smirk after she fell. A little laugh at another person slipping and falling is not an uncommon response. It doesn't have a good "look" when you're an employee and that person ends up genuinely getting hurt, but it's normal. Though like you said, Jeff, it does seem completely anti-Disney.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

Once I was on a date to a new restaurant and after we were seated a waiter let a full tray slip and the entire contents went all over me. A specialty there was loaded baked potatoes and I was wearing butter, sour cream, cheese sauce, hot chili, you name it. It was in my hair, down my neck, and all over the inside and outside of my fancy shirt I had chosen for the occasion. The waiter who caused the accident was mortified and in spite of the fact we had theatre tickets I wasn’t an ass about it. Another waiter couldn’t contain himself and ran to the kitchen to roll on the floor laughing which everyone could hear.
Guess who got fired on the spot?

janfrederick's avatar

It's possible they were laughing about something completely unrelated. I also have a hard time believing they would laugh at a fall, especially one that resulted in a broken bone.

When I was a ride operator, I seem to remember that we weren't allowed to bear full the weight of a guest. Our employer has to think about our safety too, right?

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

When I worked at WDW and drove Kilimanjaro Safaris we had an alternate access entrance/exit that had trucks pull up that had a space for a wheelchair. We could assist in pushing the chair in and out of the truck, but were not required to do so. (The opposite was true of securing the chair in the truck, that was required and guests were not permitted to assist us). However, if the guest wanted to transfer out of a chair into a standard row, we were not permitted to assist in any way, both for our own safety as well as the safety of the guest.

Now, did we occasionally hold out our hand to provide a bit of balance for guests that needed it with the one step on and off the truck? Of course. But the few times I had guests ask me to assist with getting a member of their party out of a wheelchair and into a ride vehicle I had to politely decline for all of the common sense reasons.

edit: At times the line for the alternate access would wind up being longer than the standard line because no more than 3-4 trucks would rotate through at a time, while the remaining 35+ would be using the standard load/unload areas. It was disheartening to see the abuse Cast Members in that position would take (myself included) each day when guests would berate us because the alternate access line didn't translate into immediate boarding.

Last edited by BrettV,

I wonder if the family is accepting any of the the blame. They were so selfish they put their mother in a situation she couldn’t navigate safely. Disney shouldn’t be responsible for people being irresponsible with their family members.

OhioStater's avatar


Guess who got fired on the spot?

Your story didn't end (at all) where I thought it was going.

I am now picturing you covered in butter and sour cream and a splash of cheese. While wearing a fancy shirt.

I guess I should fire myself.

Promoter of fog.

I lived downtown at the time so we had just enough time to go back to my apartment and find a new shirt. I cleaned up pretty well enough without taking a full blown shower and out the door we went. We made it to the Palace and into our seats just as the curtain went up. Success, right?
No. Sitting in the theatre I (and I’m sure everyone around me) was treated to the distinct smell of chili. It must’ve gone up my nose. Ugh. Did I mention I was on a hot date? Yeah, that wound up not working out so well.

Jeff's avatar

I've thought about that happening when seeing servers running around, but I've never seen it actually happen. Not the greatest luck to be the victim.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

It was like a preposterous scene you’ve seen a million times in a farcical movie. Only this was live and in person.
I was just grateful there wasn’t a pot of hot coffee.
The owner, who was known locally as a real piece of work fell all over herself promising to cover any damages and replace my clothes. When I contacted her it was like I was a ghost and she was nothing but lame excuses and unsatisfactory remedies.
I told everyone in town. I mean, who features stuffed baked potatoes as a high-end specialty, anyway?

OhioStater's avatar

So they fire a waiter for laughing, but then do nothing to actually remedy what happened?

Well, then...I shall find another establishment to satisfy my craving for high-end stuffed baked potatoes.

Promoter of fog.

Not to worry, they closed and the place has been many things since.
And you’ll know where this was- it was Botts Bros., or better known as The Clock a couple blocks north of Broad & High. It had undergone a fabulous renovation but with bad food and clumsy waiters.

OhioStater's avatar

That is a great location; I never got to see The Clock, and I forget what it was after that, but it's a brewery now, right?

Promoter of fog.

Elevator Brewery and Draught House.

I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I was thinking with those ingredients on you, you'd definitely smell like it without a proper shower. I've seen drinks fall off a tray on someone, but never hot food. That would be a nightmare under any scenario but more so if trying to make a show.

Now I have a weird craving for a stuffed baked potato.

Last edited by Le Monster,

Oh, it was so long ago I’d all but forgotten about it.
One, I was dating, lol, and two, the tickets were for the first national tour of Annie. Three, the shirt was sized medium. That’s how long ago.

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2023, POP World Media, LLC