The family of a 66-year-old disabled woman, who died five months after falling on the jungle cruise, say Disneyland workers mocked the park-goer as she struggled to get out of the park. a boat, according to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Joanne Aguilar, 66 years old, visited Disneyland in August 2021 and opted to board a regular jungle cruise boat with the help of her daughters when park workers said a wheelchair-accessible boat was unavailable, according to the lawsuit filed in Southern California last November.
When Aguilar tried to get out of the boat at the end of the ride, the lawsuit says she lost her balance and fell backwards, breaking her leg.
He also alleges that employees positioned at the exit of the ride to assist passengers not only did not help her, but laughed as she struggled up the steps of the boat.
“My clients have gone to Disneyland hoping to create lifelong happy memories and instead end up with the memory of a lack of dignity and respect for their mother which ultimately led to her final death,” said the family’s attorney, Michael Jeandron. Southern California Press group. “Two daughters are heartbroken, heal, and hold to account Disney cast members who made fun of their struggling mother instead of helping her.”
The lawsuit says employees “placed small, unsecured blocks on top of the existing steps inside the boat to reduce the height of each step” as she exited the boat.
“Getting out of the boat was more difficult as it required him to propel his body upwards with his lower legs which, due to his disability, was not possible. The struggle was apparent and the Disney cast members started to snicker. [sic] and laughing watching Ms. Aguilar try to get out of the boat safely,” the lawsuit reads, which caused Aguilar to fall backwards and break her leg.
She was rushed to hospital, underwent surgery, and then spent the next five months in a rehabilitation center. She contracted an infection and died of septic shock in January last year.
The lawsuit, which names The Walt Disney Company, the theme park division of Disney and Disneyland, alleges wrongful death, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and seeks damages for pain, mental suffering, humiliation, expense medical and funeral expenses.
The lawsuit was filed last November and was assigned to a judge in a Santa Ana court in early January.
Disney denied discriminating against Aguilar in any way and said his injuries were caused by his own negligence in a written court response in late December. The company is asking for a jury trial.
Disney did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.