Organization, Swan and Dolphin hotel at odds over attempting to cancel event due to COVID-19

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The rise in COVID-19 cases has one organization trying to cancel a conference in Central Florida, saying a clause in the contract allows it.

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Now, they’re asking a judge to weigh in on whether COVID-19 is cause for cancellation.

The International Union of Operating Engineers had its annual conference scheduled for the end of January at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. However, the union canceled the event just a few weeks ago because of concerns about a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The hotel said it’s demanding money for not cancelling by the deadlines in the agreement.

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The union said it has a right to cancel without payment because of the clause in the contract that allows either party to cancel without liability if there’s an act of god or an emergency make it impossible to have the meetings.

The union said it believes COVID-19 counts, and is taking it to court.

The conference was set to begin at the end of the month.

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From emails in the lawsuit, it appears both sides tried to work out a compromise, but couldn’t come to an agreement.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, which is not owned by Disney, said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.