The family of a disabled woman, 66, who died five months after falling on the Jungle Cruise ride, says Disneyland employees laughed at the park visitor as she struggled to get out of a boat, according to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Joanne Aguilar, 66, visited Disneyland in August 2021 and chose to ride a regular Jungle Cruise boat with the help of her daughters when park employees said no wheelchair-accessible boat was available, according to the lawsuit filed in Southern California last November. has been tightened.
When Aguilar tried to leave the boat at the end of the ride, the lawsuit says she lost her balance and fell backwards, breaking her leg.
It also alleges that employees posted at the ride’s exit to assist passengers not only failed to assist her, but laughed as she struggled to get up the boat steps.
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“My clients went to Disneyland hoping to create lifelong, happy memories and instead they are left with the memory of a lack of dignity and respect for their mother, which ultimately led to her final demise,” the attorney for the case said. family, Michael Jeandron, at the Southern. Newsgroup California. “Two daughters are heartbroken, healed and seek accountability for Disney cast members who laugh at their struggling mother instead of helping her.”
According to the lawsuit, employees “placed small unsecured blocks on top of the existing steps in the boat to reduce the height of each step” when she exited the boat.
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“It was harder to get out of the boat because she had to push her body up with her lower legs, which was not possible due to her disability. The struggle was obvious and Disney cast members started to chuckle. [sic] and giggling as they watched Ms. Aguilar try to get out of the boat safely,” the lawsuit says, causing Aguilar to fall backwards and break her leg.
She was rushed to a hospital, underwent surgery, and then spent the next five months in a rehabilitation center. She contracted an infection and died of septic shock in January last year.
The lawsuit, which names the Walt Disney company, Disney’s theme park division and Disneyland, alleges wrongful death, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and seeks monetary damages for pain, mental suffering, humiliation, medical expenses and funeral expenses.
The lawsuit was filed last November and was assigned to a judge in a Santa Ana district court in early January.
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Disney denied it discriminated against Aguilar in any way and said in a court written response in late December that her injuries were caused by her own negligence. The company is seeking a jury trial.
Disney did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.