Given the scope and size of the Disney corporation as a whole, they’re no stranger to lawsuits. They’ve had a difficult time facing lawsuits of park-related nature, lately. Most recently over the Genie park app as well as over the loss of a young boy’s fingers. But now they’re facing a wrongful death lawsuit over Joanne Aguilar, a disabled woman who sustained an injury within the park and reportedly later died as a result.
Aguilar was visiting Disneyland Park with her two daughters August 22nd, 2021. Upon arriving at the Jungle Cruise ride, Aguilar was informed that the ride’s ADA-accessible boat was unavailable that day. Rather than opt not to ride, Aguilar decided to board the standard boat with the help of her daughters.
While trying to exit the craft, Aguilar lost her balance, and fell backwards. She sustained a fracture of her right femur. The lawsuit alleges Disney cast members (staff) failed to assist Aguilar in exit or entry. Moreso, they also laughed at her attempts to board, significantly embarrassing her.
Where Does the Blame Lay?
Aguilar was taken to the hospital for her injury. She stayed for 10 days before being sent to a rehab center in Oxnard. Sadly, she spent five months there before dying of septic shock from an infection on Jan 29th, 2022. Her daughters allege Aguilar’s death was a direct result of the injury sustained at the park.
The lawsuit accuses Disneyland Park of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, and wrongful death. Aguilar’s daughters want the park to pay recompense for their mother’s humiliation, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and outstanding medical costs. The park’s lawyers don’t agree.
Their response to the Orange County Register was that “Aguilar’s injuries were caused by her own conduct and negligence, and that Disneyland did not discriminate against her.” Whether Aguilar’s daughters will win their case or be compensated remains to be seen.