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Woman Sues Disney World Over Severe Brain Injury Incident

Woman Files Lawsuit
Credit: Inside The Magic

A woman has filed a pretty massive lawsuit following a severe injury she received while on a Disney World vacation earlier this month.

A "warning lawsuit" sign in front of a beautiful backdrop of Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World during a hot, summer day.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Woman Receives Head Injury on Water Slide at Walt Disney World Resort, Files Extensive Lawsuit

A new lawsuit alleges that Disney World failed to have lifeguards present at the end of a water slide, resulting in a woman being knocked unconscious and sustaining a brain injury. The incident took place at Typhoon Lagoon’s Humunga Kowabunga slide this month, where Laura Reyes-Merino experienced a traumatic brain injury, according to the lawsuit filed in Orange Circuit Court. The suit claims, “Had Defendant had lifeguards at the end of the ride to watch and help guests coming off the ride, Plaintiff’s brain injury would not have occurred as she wouldn’t have been drowning in the water coughing up blood.”

The lawsuit details the event on May 11, when Reyes-Merino was knocked unconscious after being jolted on the park’s fastest and steepest slide. Her fiancé and his mother witnessed her limp body emerging from the slide and urgently requested help from the ride attendants. The attendants, who were not lifeguards, sought assistance, but during this time, Reyes-Merino was reportedly bleeding from the mouth while in the water. The The Walt Disney Company has yet to speak out on these matters, as Disney World has yet to release an official statement.

Her fiancé eventually pulled her out, and they waited for a lifeguard who, upon arrival, also could not assist directly and called for an ambulance. The time it took for lifeguards or the ambulance to arrive is not specified in the lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan, representing Reyes-Merino, is suing Disney for over $50,000, stating that their client has suffered a permanent injury that has impacted her quality of life.

Guests on Miss Adventure Falls at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park at Disney World.

Credit: Disney

Court documents do not provide further details on her injuries. Disney has not responded to requests for comment on the allegations, and Morgan & Morgan have also not provided additional remarks. Humunga Kowabunga is the same slide where Emma McGuinness reported a severe injury in 2019, which included a “painful wedgie” and internal injuries due to the slide’s high speed.

Disney’s website describes Humunga Kowabunga as featuring a “near-vertical, 5-story drop — in the dark!” with three side-by-side enclosed body slides offering a thrilling experience over a 214-foot descent. Reyes-Merino’s alleged injury is too recent to appear on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ quarterly injury report. Disney and other Central Florida parks report injuries when guests are hospitalized for at least 24 hours following a ride.

Historically, three injuries have been reported on Humunga Kowabunga. Two women suffered cuts in 2013 and 2015, and a 10-year-old boy fractured his hip in 2015. The lawsuit against Disney World and Typhoon Lagoon could have significant implications for the park and its water attractions. Disney World might need to reevaluate and enhance its safety measures, particularly at Typhoon Lagoon. This could include increasing the number of lifeguards at water slides and other high-risk areas, conducting more frequent safety drills, and improving emergency response times.

Mickey Mouse in front of the pool at Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World.

Credit: Disney

The financial impact of the lawsuit, including potential settlements or judgments, could be significant. If Disney is found liable for Laura Reyes-Merino’s injuries, it might face substantial legal costs and be required to pay damages. The park’s insurance premiums could rise due to the increased perceived risk associated with its water attractions. Negative publicity from the lawsuit and subsequent incidents could harm Disney World’s reputation. This might affect visitor numbers and public perception of the park’s safety standards.

Disney may need to improve communication regarding safety protocols and emergency procedures with guests. Clear signage and information about what to do in an emergency could be more prominently displayed. Ensuring that guests feel safe is crucial. Transparent communication about improving safety and preventing future incidents could help restore and maintain visitor confidence. The lawsuit might attract more scrutiny from regulatory bodies, leading to stricter regulations and oversight of water parks and amusement parks.

Other amusement parks and water parks may also review and enhance their safety protocols in response to the incident at Typhoon Lagoon, aiming to prevent similar occurrences. This lawsuit highlights the importance of stringent safety measures and the need for rapid emergency response at theme parks. The public and industry stakeholders will closely watch Disney World’s reaction to this situation.

This post Woman Sues Disney World Over Severe Brain Injury Incident appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Emmanuel Detres

Since first stepping inside the Magic Kingdom at nine years old, I knew I was destined to be a theme Park enthusiast. Although I consider myself a theme Park junkie, I still have much to learn and discover about Disney. Universal Orlando Resort has my heart; being an Annual Passholder means visiting my favorite places on Earth when possible! When I’m not writing about Disney, Universal, or entertainment news, you’ll find me cruising on my motorcycle, hiking throughout my local metro parks, or spending quality time with my girlfriend, family, or friends.

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