Disney Quickly Settles Lawsuit After Reedy Creek Firefighters Break Paralyzed Boy’s Leg

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Credit: Disney

In 2012, tragedy struck Hunter Wanca’s family. Hunter’s older brother shot the 12-year-old and his father. Sadly, Hunter’s father was killed, and Hunter was paralyzed from the chest down. The young boy went through a lot, but never let his spirit be broken by the immense loss he suffered. Just about one year later, Hunter’s community rallied around him and teamed up with a local Alabama organization — Magic Moments — to surprise Hunter with a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.


Credit: Disney

On March 31, 2021, Hunter visited the Magic Kingdom and rode the popular Fantasyland attraction, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Unfortunately, the theme park ride broke down, and Reedy Creek firefighters had to help evacuate Hunter. According to a lawsuit — shared by Florida Politics — filed by Hunter’s grandfather, the evacuation injured his grandson.

Four Reedy Creek first responders arrived at the ride to evacuate passengers from the ride. When the first responders tried to lift (Hunter) to remove him from the ride, they over-extended his leg, snapping his right femur at the knee,” according to the lawsuit against Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is Disney World’s government.

The lawsuit said Hunter “sustained serious injuries and other damages including, but not limited to a right distal femur supracondylar fracture.”

Mine Cart

Credit: Disney

Guests frequently sue Disney for various injuries they suffer while visiting the Disney Parks and Resorts, but those cases usually don’t go very far. While Disney did not comment on this case, they seemed to have realized they were at fault for the injury and quickly settled with the family.

The two sides reached a settlement, according to a notice filed Tuesday, three weeks after the lawsuit was filed.

Morgan & Morgan [personal injury attorneys] declined to provide the terms of the settlement Tuesday when reached for comment, calling the agreement confidential.

Florida’s biggest theme parks are required to self-report visitors’ injuries when they are hurt on rides and hospitalized for at least 24 hours. Those incidents become public records every quarter when the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services releases them in a report.

Disney did not report anyone hurt on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in March 2021.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

At this time, it has not been revealed how much Hunter’s grandfather (and guardian) was suing for. The amount of the settlement is also not being made public.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!