Walt Disney World Orlando advertises itself as one of the “Happiest Places on Earth”. For millions of visitors every year, it is quite a happy and joyful place filled with rides, cartoon characters, and adventures; however, for many children and their families, Walt Disney World Orlando happens to be a placed filled with horrific memories, significant personal injuries, tragedy, and even the untimely and wrongful death of a visitor from children to teens to adults. Certainly, Walt Disney World Orlando welcomes children and families to its many theme parks, attractions, resorts, and hotels. As such, it is important that Walt Disney World Orlando provide a safe and well maintained environment with the full knowledge that every day families and young children will be on the premises. This duty extends to all areas of the park and resorts including but not limited to the attractions, rides, restaurants, hotels, lobby areas, swimming pool areas, recreation areas, and yes, the other aquatic areas whether man-made or natural in the form of lakes, ponds, canals, lagoons, and other areas. It is incumbent upon Walt Disney World Orlando to patrol the areas, maintain the areas, clean up the areas, and post prominent signage about potential dangers that may include those related to electrical and wildlife. If an area has the potential for significant injury or death, this particular area should either be closed off, modified, and / or posted with prominent signage.
A recent incident at Walt Disney World Orlando left a family and community in shock when an alligator from the Seven Seas Lagoon lunged out of the water and grabbed a 2 year old who was standing in or near the water with his father. The boy, who was vacationing with his family from Nebraska, was attacked by the alligator. While the father tried to do his best to stop the attack and save his son, he was unable to do so. It was reported that there were signs in the area that advised visitors about the designation of a “No Swimming” area. There may not have been any warnings or signage about the presence of dangerous wildlife including but not limited to alligators. Certainly, this incident was and is a complete and utter nightmare for the family visiting the “Magic Kingdom” from Nebraska. The incident was immediately reported to Walt Disney World Orlando officials, resort staff and management, local law enforcement, and Florida Wildlife Law Enforcement officers. You can read more about this tragedy at KETV Omaha, Nebraska – Alligator Attacks and Drags 2 Year Old Nebraska Boy at Walt Disney World Orland Resort – Seven Seas Lagoon.
The injury and / or wrongful of a child is a harrowing experience. Certainly, as parents, we work day and night to provide for our children’s safety, health, and welfare. When a child is injured or when a child dies as a result of the negligence of another person, business entity, or government entity, a parent is faced with a number of life, medical, and legal challenges. Certainly, it is important that these trying times to be supported by family members, friends, community, medical professionals, clergy, community, and, yes, when necessary an experienced and caring Florida Child Injury Lawyer. Big businesses are supported day / night by in-house and retained legal counsel essentially on a 24 / 7 basis. There are risk management and insurance risk management adjuster in place to advise and protect the companies. As such, injury victims and their families also deserve legal representation to make that legal rights are protected, enforced, and preserved as needed especially in the aftermath of significant personal injuries and /or wrongful death.
During the holiday season and all other times of year, it is important for parents, schools, and day care centers to be aware of the dangers that some toys cause to children. If a child is injured by the use, play, or contact with a toy, the owner of the home, day care center, or school may be held liable if there was an issue with the supervision of the child, if the toy at issue was known to be dangerous, or if the toy was inappropriate for the age and maturity of the child.
Federal safety standards are put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of injuries to children from toys. Even with these standards in place, it is estimated that every three minutes a child is injured by a toy and makes a trip to the emergency room. This equates to approximately 250,000 children going to the emergency room in 2013 alone. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission estimated roughly nine children died in 2013 from toy related injuries.
With internet shopping becoming more prevalent, more and more parents are purchasing toys online. A problem with online shopping is that parents are unable to physically view the toys for safety issues and are often unable to read all of the warnings printed on the package. Without the ability to physically see the toy to locate unknown dangers or to read all warnings, parents may be purchasing toys that are not fit for the age and maturity of their child. A lack of knowledge regarding the safety of a toy can lead to serious injuries to children.
Gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment. Certainly, there is a strong history and constitutional right to gun ownership in Florida and the United States. With this right, there are also the responsibility of sensible and reasonable ownership and safety especially when children are present in a home or a location where guns are owned, maintained, and stored. A homeowner / gun owner can be held liable for leaving a gun in a place or location that is accessible to a young child. It is well known that children especially toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school children are curious and do not always recognize the danger of touching or handling a gun. Civil or legal responsibility for injuries or the death of a young child does not in any way abrogate or curtail gun ownership or rights. Like driving an automobile or running an amusement park right, there must be responsible maintenance and operation surrounding the potentially dangerous activity.
An Arkansas woman was recently charged after her six year old nephew shot and killed himself with a gun she owned. The young boy was waiting in a car while the woman was in a nearby residence. The accidental death lead to the woman being charged with manslaughter. She was charged criminally because she was alleged to be negligent or careless for keeping the gun in a place accessible to the young boy. With such a tragic event, this particular incident and others are wake up calls for all gun owners and homeowners to be responsible any time that guns and children are present in the same location.
Gun related injuries can happen to a child of any age. In fact, toddlers, aged two or three, are strong enough to pull the trigger of a loaded gun. Often, these toddlers are too young to understand what a gun is and the danger that it poses. Coupled with the fact that one in three children live in a home with a gun, this is all the more reason to practice proper gun safety.