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Deadly Attack at Amusement Park Sheds New Light on Liability

By now, the tragic news of the death of 2-year-old Lane Graves has made its way across the nation. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, his story will. On the night of June 14th, the toddler was attacked and killed by an alligator at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The public’s reaction to Lane’s death was to show incredible compassion and support for the grieving family- some even shared photos of their family at the exact spot the child was attacked. Others have questioned whether his death could have been prevented with proper precautions. While most theme park injuries are the result of faulty rides, other injuries, like the attack suffered by Lane Graves, can occur on the grounds of amusement parks. One of the major misconceptions that often leads to injuries is that theme parks are inherently safe. People believe they are taking their family to a place that is devoid of any danger- and with good reason; Disney World has been dubbed by many as “the happiest place on earth.” However, children are the victims of about 50% of reported injuries at amusement parks. Most of the injuries that happen at theme parks are a result of the rides. Whether due to ride malfunction, improper operation, poor signage, or mechanical failure, injuries suffered at amusement parks can range from mild to serious.  These injuries can include everything from neck strains to broken bones, and aneurysms; some may result in fatalities. However, many injuries occur on theme park grounds. If the injury is a result of either negligence on behalf of the amusement park, or product liability, there is...