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- A November lawsuit against the Walt Disney Group has been assigned to a judge.
- The wrongful death suit alleges a disabled died as a result of injuries she received from falling while exiting Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise ride.
- The late woman’s daughters say Disneyland workers “snickered” at their mother when she fell and broke her leg.
A disabled woman’s family has hit Walt Disney Group with a lawsuit that accuses Disneyland employees of laughing at her after falling on Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise ride — she died five months later.
The family of Joanne Aguilar, 66, of Ventura County, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Disney that claims she broke her leg in the August 2021 incident and died in January 2022 as a result of complications, Southern California News Group reported this week.
According to Disney’s official site, the Jungle Cruise ride is a guided tour of the theme park along a river. Earlier this month, the suit was assigned to US District Judge Cormac Carney at the Santa Ana courthouse, local news reported.
Aguilar’s daughters, Andrea Mallul and Zenobia Hernandez, accompanied her to Disneyland on Aug. 22, 2021, and helped her get on the boat. But when she tried to get off the boat, they had trouble getting her up “small unsecured blocks on top of the existing steps inside the boat,” reports said.
Their mother fell and fractured her femur, the lawsuit said, while Disneyland employees laughed at the woman.
“Exiting the boat was more difficult as it required her to propel her body upward with her lower legs, which due to her disability was not possible,” the lawsuit, which was filed in November, said, according to SCNG. “The struggle was apparent and Disney cast members began snickered [sic] and giggling as they watched Ms. Aguilar try to safely exit the boat.”
Aguilar was taken to an Anaheim hospital for surgery to repair the injury. She remained there for 10 days after the fall, then went to a rehabilitation center for five months. But Aguilar eventually went into septic shock due to an infection and died on January 29, the SCNG reported.
In the lawsuit, the family said Disneyland violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when they told the physically disabled Aguilar that a wheelchair-accessible Jungle Cruise boat was unavailable.
One month after the suit was filed, on Dec. 29, Disney’s lawyers denied the accusations in a written statement and said the company is seeking a jury trial, according to AP News.
Aguilar’s family is seeking monetary damages for pain, mental suffering, humiliation, medical costs and funeral expenses, the report reads.