An apparently disabled 66-year-old lady fell from the Jungle Cruise ride, and personnel at Disneyland laughed at her. Now, a new lawsuit claims that as a result of that tragic event, she passed away five months later from septic shock. According to the New York Post, the family of Joanne Aguilar filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Ventura County, California, some months ago and has now been assigned a judge as of this month. The Walt Disney Company, its theme park business, and Disneyland are named as defendants in the complaint.
According to the lawsuit that the Post was able to receive, Aguilar allegedly visited the Anaheim amusement park in August 2021 with her two adult daughters, Andrea Maullul and Zenobia Hernandez. As Aguilar was healing from an unrelated knee injury at the time of the deadly incident, park officials first gave the family a wheelchair. According to the Post, when Aguilar attempted to take the Jungle Cruise, staff informed her that there was no wheelchair-accessible boat available. The disputed attraction does include an ASA-accessible boat that enables individuals in wheelchairs to board the ride without getting out of them. Aguilar chose to take a conventional boat trip with her children, and Disneyland personnel lowered the height of each stop by adding “little loose bricks” to the boat’s steps.
Even with the assistance of her kids, the 66-year-old found it difficult to climb them. Workers at Disneyland, who began “snickering and chuckling” as they observed the disabled woman struggle, were conspicuously missing from any assistance efforts. Aguilar broke her right femur as she fell backward after quickly losing her footing on the stairs. She would ultimately stay in a hospital for the following 10 days before being sent to a neighboring rehab facility. Aguilar spent five months recuperating at the institution in Oxnard, California. She soon developed an infection, though, and went into septic shock as a result. The Post reports that she passed away on January 29, 2022.
The complaint accuses Disneyland of wrongful death and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, alleging that Aguilar’s injuries from her fall at the theme park caused her death. Her family is currently suing for an undefined sum of money to cover medical bills, burial costs, legal fees, as well as physical anguish and humiliation. Before she passed away, according to the complaint, Aguilar said the encounter made her feel humiliated and embarrassed as well as “dehumanized” by the circumstance. The family of Aguilar is requesting specific compensation for Aguilar’s physical, emotional, and psychological suffering, as well as any related medical bills, burial costs, and legal fees.
“My clients went to Disneyland with the hopes of creating life-long happy memories and instead are left with the memory of a lack of dignity and respect for their mother which ultimately led to her final demise,” the family’s attorney, Michael Jeandron, told the Orange County Register.
In several court documents, Disney has refuted every accusation and argued that it is not responsible for Aguilar’s injuries. The business continued by claiming that the mother and her girls were already fully aware of the risks associated with various theme park rides. – Steve Sijenyi