The family of Joanne Aguilar has recently brought forward a lawsuit in Ventura County, California. The defendants include the Walt Disney Company, its theme park division, and Disneyland.
The legal action is being taken due to the tragic death of the 66-year-old disabled woman after she fell from the Jungle Cruise ride five months prior. Allegedly, Disneyland employees had laughed at her shortly before the accident.
On August 21st, 2021, Aguilar and her two adult daughters, Zenobia Hernandez and Andrea Maullul, visited an amusement park in Anaheim. Due to Aguilar’s knee injury, the family had obtained a wheelchair for her to use.
When they attempted to ride the Jungle Cruise attraction, however, Aguilar was informed by park employees that a wheelchair-accessible boat was not available.
Aguilar chose to ride a standard boat with the help of her daughters, despite the availability of an ADA-accessible boat for disabled parkgoers to board without leaving their wheelchairs. After the ride, park staff reportedly put “small unsecured blocks” on the steps of the boat to reduce their height, which Aguilar found hard to climb.
According to the complaint, instead of providing assistance to the family, Disneyland cast members began to laugh and chuckle at the woman’s difficulties. This caused her to feel humiliated and ashamed. The lawsuit further states that Aguilar “felt dehumanized” by the incident.
Aguilar suddenly lost her footing on the stairs, tumbling backward and fracturing her right femur. Subsequently, she was hospitalized for 10 days, before being moved to a rehabilitation center in Oxnard, California.
Unfortunately, she would later contract an infection at the center, leading to septic shock and her passing on January 29th, 2022.
A lawsuit has been filed alleging that a woman’s death was due to injuries sustained from a fall at Disneyland. The complaint, brought forth in federal court, claims wrongful death and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The family of the deceased individual has requested compensation for the physical pain, mental suffering, and humiliation endured. They also requested to be compensated for all medical expenses, funeral costs, and legal fees.
In response to the lawsuit, Disney has denied any wrongdoing and contended that Aguilar and her daughters were aware of the potential risks associated with visiting a theme park. They have requested that the case be dismissed.