|| Disneyland Lawsuits
- When someone gets hurt at Disneyland, the case will go to trial in
Orange County, California. The Disney lawyers make sure they fill the
jury boxes with local citizens, who appreciate the fact that Disney
is the county's top employer, top money making business and the reason
for the big tax breaks in their community.
- New York social worker Vicki Prusnofsky was stopped and questioned
by two Disney Security Guards after they saw her leave one of the shops
wearing a Mickey Mouse pin and earrings. Which she had bought on a previous
trip. They searched through her bag and found a roll of film she had
just bought - but for which she didn't have a receipt. They went back
inside the store where the cashier vouched for the fact that Vicki was
just there and had indeed purchased the film. All is well, right? Wrong.
She was hauled off to Disney Jail, fingerprinted, strip searched
and put into a cell with "whores and thieves" for hours.
- Since Disney security and Disney nurses are always the first, and
usually the only emergency people to be on the scene of an accident,
they will of course be the only "medical" or 'technical"
people who can verify the incident and can give their official testimony
on just how serious it was. Disney employees are always well groomed,
well educated and articulate. They present a terrific image to a jury
or court of law. But of course, they're still Disney employees, being
paid by Disney. Aren't they going to back their actions, and the procedures
of their employers up?
- The Autopia ride is Disney's biggest injury causing ride. In 1975
Sandra Varela had to bring her car to a stop when the seven in front
of her halted on the track because a large tree branch had drooped down,
blocking the road. Apparently, no one on the Disney staff was around
to remove it or check the ride before guests were allowed on to make
sure it was clear and safe to open. The car behind Sandra's rammed her,
causing whiplash and severe back injuries. She had to have several operations
which cost over $120,000 and cost another $50,000 in lost wages. Although
all Sandra asked from Disney was reimbursement for her medical bills,
they refused to have a thing to do with her, so she sued. In court,
Disney's lawyer called her a "psychologically neurotic, hysterical
woman". Unquote. And the lawyer also stated that the operations
she had only turned her into a "surgical invalid". Sandra's
lawyer said her only chance at winning the case was to get it moved
to another venue. Out of Disney Territory, which they were unable to
do. Despite testimony, X-rays, and notarized documents from all of Sandra's
doctors and witnesses, and the fact she had several operations and $120,000
in bills to prove it, she lost the case and didn't get one penny out
of Disney. It took the jury only two hours to decide to award her nothing.
- Seventeen year old Terri Dorsett was at Disneyland with some classmates
when one of them, unbeknownst to Terri, dropped a Mickey Mouse pen into
her bag. They were stopped by a Disney security person for shoplifting.
Even though the other girl readily admitted that Terri had nothing to
do with it and she had dropped the pen into Terri's bag as a 'joke',
they were both taken to Disney Jail, fingerprinted and not allowed to
call anyone (remember, these are minors).. Terri's dad ended up spending
$15,000 to fight charges which Disney insisted on pressing, all the
way to court before Terri was acquitted.
- One guest stumbled off a sidewalk curb during a parade because she
said not only was the street poorly lit, but there was such a crush
of people that it was impossible to see the ground. She suffered severe
injuries and had to have hip replacement surgery. Disney's lawyers argued
that if there were so many people that she couldn't see the ground,
what good would better lighting have done anyway? She lost the case.
- A pregnant woman rented a wheelchair at the park and while being pushed
by her husband, a rod between the chair's wheels broke, causing her
to fall. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she miscarried. Disney
said there was no proof the couple didn't do something to make
the rod break, and so no damages were awarded.
- A lady was injured on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when a stack of barrels,
which lunge forward to give the illusion they are about to fall on you,
really DID fall on her when a cable snapped.
- Jaime and Elena Boruchovas were watching a parade at Disneyland when
a float went out of control, hitting lights as it went down, causing
them to explode. Elena's leg was severely burned and she was rushed
to the hospital with a Disney Damage Control Rep right behind her who
spoke flawless Spanish. She gave her a Minnie Mouse doll and offered
the couple a check for $1,222 - they were so sorry! Just sign on the
dotted line! Only problem was that the paper was in English, which neither
of the Boruchovas spoke. And the Damage Control Rep didn't seem to want
to be bothered to translate it for them and help them understand what
it was that they were really getting into. Of course. They signed it,
and the Disney Rep personally drove them to the bank right from the
hospital emergency room to make sure they cashed that check. Now wasn't
Upon returning home, the leg became infected and skin grafts were necessary.
Disney refused to have a thing to do with it, saying the paper Elena
had signed when she was given the check just happened to also have a
clause on it that released them from any liability. The lawyer the Boruchovas
got said Disney was "relentless. They hid witnesses. They forbid
employees who were witnesses to talk to us. Finally one did - the person
who played Minnie Mouse". She felt so bad about Elena and her employer's
BS that she spoke up. Elena got $100,000.
- When a sudden power failure (and oh, California had them like mad
in 2001) turned off all the lights and electric cars in the Alice in
Wonderland ride, a little girl was thrown violently backwards against
the car's back bar, fracturing her skull. She was trapped under her
car's safety bar which went into frozen lock down because of the power
being out, in total darkness with her fractured skull and Mom sitting
next to her helplessly by, trying to keep her calm until help came.
Disney generously settled for $737.35, I drip sarcastically. No emergency
back-up lights, power sources or emergency safety releases were installed
in case future power failures caused future problems.
- A woman was thrown from a Dumbo Elephant ride into a hollow below
where she was struck repeatedly on the head and neck by passing elephant
"cars", helpless to move or get out until someone noticed
her, stopped the ride and got her out. Disney refused to pay her a dime
and a jury agreed, saying it was "her fault".
- In the mid-1970s the People Mover was altered to be made safer after
many serious accidents. One has to ask why it was not built with safety
in mind in the first place and why it took 'many' serious accidents
before the changes were made. In 1972 a 5-year old boy was exiting a
people mover car when his left foot got caught under it, severely damaging
his muscles and nerves. He had to have his three middle toes amputated
and two skin grafts.In 1973 a 12-year old boy had to have 2 toes amputated
because of an identical accident. In fact it took over seventy five
disfiguring accidents in a 5-year period before Disney cared enough
to do something about it. They settled out of court with each family
for about $15,000.
Park rides cited in the most personal injury lawsuits from 1954- 1992
Most dangerous first
2. Matterhorn Bobsleds
3. Haunted Mansion
4. It's A Small World
5. Pirates of the Caribbean
6. Parking Lot Tram
7. Mad Tea Party
8. Jungle Cruise
9. Alice in Wonderland
10. tie - Space Mountain & People Mover
- Once Upon a Time in the 1980s,
the Disney-owned Aruda Corporation built a "Planned Community"
called Country Walk, a lovely little subdivision of upscale homes and
condos in Dade County, Florida. For seven years the little elves and
dwarfs hammered and sawed and whistled while they worked to make 322
pretty homes and condos for rich people to buy. Woohoo! When they were
done, Disney sold the Aruda company, took their money, dusted off their
coveralls and left town. Buh-bye! Thanks for the $$!
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit - the 2nd worst hurricane in U.S. history
- causing $30 billion dollars in damage. The devastation was indescribable,
the name "Andrew" permanently retired from the hurricane name
list because of the magnitude of it. Country Walk wasn't just damaged
like everything else had been - Country Walk was blown to smithereens,
obliterated. And the people of Country Walk were pissed.
But!...(you say) ....but you just said Hurricane Andrew really did
a lot of damage, didn't you? Why, yes, I did. However when the skies
cleared and water evaporated and people started to see the carnage,
Country Walk was really, and I mean really destroyed. And I mean,
vaporized. When the Nice Insurance Gnomes came to Country Walk
they found all kinds of surprises. It was so bad they even called Structural
Engineers in to be witnesses and gather evidence. Bracings had been
so inadequate that gables had been sucked off the roofs. They found
row after row after row after row of nails that were just decorative
- they didn't even go into anything! Words like "sloppy construction"
and "lousy workmanship" were generally the more polite terms
being used to describe it all. It was found that Country Walk had suffered
considerable more damage than the surrounding subdivisions. One man's
house was finished three months before the building permits were even
issued for it. In other words, Country Walk was built to substandard,
shoddy, cheap, crap, rip-off, thanks for the $$ blueprints and very
A lot of people sued. And Disney coughed up $7500 to each of them which
is the Basic "We Don't Have To, We're Disney" Nothing Settlement.
They were nice enough to admit, though, that they knew there was a hurricane
risk there and probably should have built the homes better. So
what more could you want; they said they were so sorry!