Woman’s family sues Disneyland; claims her death was due to fall at the park

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman’s family has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that her death was a result of a fall she had while visiting Disneyland months earlier.

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The lawsuit was filed in November by the family of Joanne Aguilar, 66, against the Walt Disney Company, the theme park division and Disneyland, according to The Orange County Register.

The suit reportedly claimed that employees at Disneyland were being rude to Aguilar, who was disabled and had a hard time getting off the Jungle Cruise boat ride during a park visit on Aug. 22, 2021, according to The Associated Press. Her effort to hurry led her to break a leg, her family alleges.

The lawsuit claims that the injury led to an infection that Aguilar got five months later and ultimately led to her death.

Aguilar visited Disneyland with her adult daughters, according to the lawsuit. When they arrived at the Jungle Cruise ride, employees reportedly told Aguilar that a wheelchair-accessible boat was not available. Aguilar had decided to ride another boat with the help of her daughters. Employees placed small, unsecured blocks on the top of the boat to help reduce the height of the steps.

While Aguilar’s daughters were attempting to assist her off the boat, employees allegedly failed to assist and instead stood by, laughing, which made her feel embarrassed, the lawsuit states.

Aguilar lost her balance, fell backward, and broke her right femur, the Register reported. She was taken to the hospital for surgery and stayed there for about 10 days. After that, she was reportedly moved to a rehabilitation facility for five months.

On Jan. 29, 2022, Aguilar got an infection and went into septic shock, the lawsuit states. She died as a result.

The lawsuit is a wrongful death lawsuit, according to the Register. The lawsuit also reportedly claims that there was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disney reportedly denied the allegations and has asked for a jury trial, the newspaper reported. Lawyers for the corporation reportedly argued that Aguilar’s injuries were caused by her “own conduct and negligence,” and also said that the park did not discriminate against her or deny her equal access.

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages for “pain, mental suffering, humiliation, medical costs and funeral expenses,” according to the AP.