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From the OS: Gator drags child into Seven Seas Lagoon

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flynnibus

Premium Member
Sorry if someone said it already(I haven't read anything), but my best friend brought up 2 good points over the weekend.

1) Were the parents on their cell phones at the time of the attacks?
2) Had they been drinking?

Either way, that doesn't change the debate on Disney's responsibility. Florida allows percentages of responsibility in these kind of injury cases. A court could find that the parents are PARTIALLY responsible while still finding Disney responsible for other factors.
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
I disagree with that statement. There is no law that states Disney must notify guests of wildlife in the area.
There is a duty of care within Innkeepers common law to reasonably watch out for a guests safety. The fact they were hotel guests adds another dimension than if they were say, lifestylers watching fireworks. Given the hotel right across the street warns of alligators, I am starting to come around that there should have been signs posted.

Still not relenting on my position that Marshmallow roasts are the next accident waiting to happen.
 

KeeKee

Well-Known Member
I'm going to stay out of most of this debate because to be honest it seems to have gone so far off the rails, it's just a shouting match now.

One question I do have. Why is everyone so obsessed with making sure they call it a 'man-made' lake? Do you think that somehow changes somebody's responsibility/liability or how that body of water should be managed? While the statement is 'technically accurate', when a body of water has been there for nearly 50 years is the fact that it was man made in the 1960's even relevant any more? It long ago became part of the natural ecosystem of that part of central Florida and functions no differently than Bay Lake or any other body of that was there when Disney originally purchased the land 50 years ago.
Not to mention that it is part of the water management system through all of WDW with a series of canals and natural water bodies all interconnected. The term "man made" doesn't imply that its like a pool or something similar. It has long since been claimed by the natural ecosystem in the area.
 

Daveeeeed

Well-Known Member
Not to mention that it is part of the water management system through all of WDW with a series of canals and natural water bodies all interconnected. The term "man made" doesn't imply that its like a pool or something similar. It has long since been claimed by the natural ecosystem in the area.
Correct it doesn't, but again a person generally doesn't associate a man-made lake & beach on vacation with having gators. It would've been so simple to have a sign up. I think that they were just playing with the odds and hoping that it would never happen so that everyone can enjoy the beach, and now they're going to go overboard, and a baby lost its life.
 

betty rose

Well-Known Member
Im all fairness, although it may have been, but it probably was not a water moccasin. :)

I don't want everyone reading this to think Big Snake = Deadly. Because most snakes that you will see, at Disney or most places in Florida, actually aren't deadly at all, or even dangerous.

I will say that when I've gone to Telluride or Aspen, I've never once received a pamphlet on wildlife from the lodge or chalet company. I bet if people really think about places they travel to, you'll realize you never receive it.. And aren't "warned" of it. Anywhere from California to South Carolina. Maybe certain national parks, or a select few certain places, but not the majority.

Where I live now has Deer signs on the side of certain roads. But not downtown and not on most busy streets or highways. Deer still run onto the highway, and still cause accidents. It's just rare, and it happens more than a gator attack- but still no signs- because it is considered such a slim chance.

Bottom line- Disney, and even Florida, aren't any less safe today than they were 5,10,20 years ago.
It was a water moccosin,

I grew up on a farm, and saw many snakes as a child, most were not poisonous. But some were, I'm familiar with water moccasins, this was a water moccasin. It had all the "markings". Enough said.
 

Daveeeeed

Well-Known Member
Disney needs to put signs to warn beach goers of sand and sun too. If everything must be spelled out nowadays, as opposed to people actually thinking for themselves, WDW is going to be covered in signs. "WARNING: BEACH HAS SAND"
"WARNING: POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO SUN"
Seriously? It is universal (except maybe London :p) that everywhere has the sun, everywhere does not have gators. The problem is most people don't expect a gator to be in there. That is true if you would've asked people or looked on these forums before this happened you would see that generally people weren't aware, that is not lack of education that is not an expectation. It would've been so so easy to have a sign up like they have at the shades of green across the street warning of gators. It wasn't scary, people walk still, but instead of going into the water slightly or walk next to it people walk a few feet back.
There is going to be excessive signs though I'll agree with you on that.
 

rob0519

Well-Known Member
Either way, that doesn't change the debate on Disney's responsibility. Florida allows percentages of responsibility in these kind of injury cases. A court could find that the parents are PARTIALLY responsible while still finding Disney responsible for other factors.
If this gets to trial that is absolutely correct.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
There's one thing I'd like to toss into the debate here. Let's say, for instance, that all along, WDW has been notifying every guest about the possibility of gators in all waterways at WDW. Let's also say that clearly visible signs detailing the presence of gators have always existed. Let's even say that the rope fence that they are building has always been there. What if guests decided to ignore the warnings, went beyond the fence and the signs, into the water, and a tragedy occurred?

Look at this court case... that's basically what happened in this case.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/1986839487So2d352_1752/PALUMBO v. GAME & FRESH WATER FISH COM'N

As much as people keep going round and round on this and trying to speak in absolutes.. the CNN article posted last week really speaks to the topics and questions at hand very well and provides some links for people to research more with... including discussing disclosures, responsibility for artifical vs natural, wild animals, and negligence.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/opini...ty-alligator-attack-danny-cevallos/index.html

"In Florida, the law does not require a landowner to anticipate the presence of or guard an invitee against harm from wild animals -- or "ferae naturae." This rule does have exceptions; for example, where the owner harbors such animals or has introduced onto his premises wild animals not indigenous to the locality" (and yes, this is the same for businesses too!!)

"Courts in the Sunshine State have observed what most Floridians already know: alligators are native to Florida. Accordingly, landowners are not automatically required to have them "under dominion and control."" (and yes, this is the same for businesses too!!)

"It's important to note that this wild animal doctrine certainly does not provide blanket immunity to a resort in a situation like this. Florida courts recognize that landowners may be negligentif they know or should know of an unreasonable risk of harm posed by an animal on their premises, and cannot expect patrons to realize the danger or guard against it"

The last bit is really the crux of the arguments. People believe that Disney has exposed themselves because they believe (1) Disney had a known issue they failed to warn about and (2) were contributing to the likelyhood of this by failing to address the feeding problems by guests.

There are also debates to if Disney owes the responsibility to warn of the danger in general - to which I disagree with.. and I can cite several cases supporting my point. In my informed opinion, Disney would be responsible if there was a **specific** known risk there, but the general case of 'we've had reports of (any) alligators' or reports of people feeding gators (in general) do not meet a standard. But these are areas people would argue in court and it's not a clear cut answer.
 

KeeKee

Well-Known Member
Correct it doesn't, but again a person generally doesn't associate a man-made lake & beach on vacation with having gators. It would've been so simple to have a sign up. I think that they were just playing with the odds and hoping that it would never happen so that everyone can enjoy the beach, and now they're going to go overboard, and a baby lost its life.
I agree with you! The illusion that this is a "beach" puts people in a whole different mindset from this is a "lakefront". I think I said this before that the trucked in beach sand is as much to blame for creating the atmosphere of a carefree beachfront as the lack of alligator warning signs is. It's all about the "illusion".
 

KeeKee

Well-Known Member
Someone - many, many pages back - mentioned a system of sea walls and boardwalks as a solution to the alligator threat. That's really about the only thing that will keep people really safe.
 

Daveeeeed

Well-Known Member
I agree with you! The illusion that this is a "beach" puts people in a whole different mindset from this is a "lakefront". I think I said this before that the trucked in beach sand is as much to blame for creating the atmosphere of a carefree beachfront as the lack of alligator warning signs is. It's all about the "illusion".
Exactly! And some have said that there are beaches along other lakes, which is true, and they really should have a warning, but Disney needed it even more as they bring tons of people out of state that don't necessarily know the risk. And what makes it even worse was that Disney knew thee were a ton of gators. Australia has signs that say Saltwater Crocodiles, national parks have signs that say bears. Why should Disney be any different if you know what I mean.
 

KeeKee

Well-Known Member
Exactly! And some have said that there are beaches along other lakes, which is true, and they really should have a warning, but Disney needed it even more as they bring tons of people out of state that don't necessarily know the risk. And what makes it even worse was that Disney knew thee were a ton of gators. Australia has signs that say Saltwater Crocodiles, national parks have signs that say bears. Why should Disney be any different if you know what I mean.
No matter what, they need the alligator signs. The horrible part is that it took till now to get it done.
 

Daveeeeed

Well-Known Member
Someone - many, many pages back - mentioned a system of sea walls and boardwalks as a solution to the alligator threat. That's really about the only thing that will keep people really safe.
True, but the odds of this happening again are so slim, but Disney had that mindset and look what happened. So in the long term, signs, and sea walls. And like you said even a boardwalk in some areas would do the trick I believe. Still though they're never going to get the kid back, I just wish Disney would've done something sooner.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Neither matters if Disney did not warn about the hazard.

Disney must warn about the specific hazard.

key word.. specific. They are not obligated to warn about the hazards that exist normally within the area. You are not required to warn 'there are sharks in the oceans' - but you would be obligated to warn if there was a specific elevated risk due to some new circumstances that were specific to that area.

Example: The HOA was not liable for not disclosing a risk with fire ants because there was no specific knowledge of an issue in that area.. even tho they had been treating fire ant issues in other locations when a known problem was identified
https://www.animallaw.info/case/hanrahan-v-hometown-america-llc

Example: The City was not responsible for not warning of dangerous rip currents because they were situations that can arrise normally in the ocean and in all oceans and were not a direct causation of action by the defendants - http://archive.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/sc02-1568/02-1569ans.pdf

This is why the animal doctrine and signs are not simple yes/no answers. The debate comes in over if there were extra circumstances that would lead to negligence or failures in duty of care because they argue the circumstances are beyond the normal expectations (and the whole debates over if people should know about gators being present, etc)

People apparently are missing WHY those points are significant... because they tie back into the issues regarding if Disney needed to make additional disclosures/warnings. And the idea of SPECIFIC risks is materially significant vs 'general problem at WDW'.

Which is why simple 'alligator reports' with nothing to clarify the risk factors associated with those reports, posters who ignore the AGE of those reports or location, are NOT conclusive to support the idea Disney was ignoring these reports and hence contributing to the problem or failing to act on concerns.

People just want to jump to the easy answers... and ignore the minutia.. when that's what actually makes things relevant or not.
 
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