Behind The Scenes of A Lawsuit Against Walt Disney World (a.k.a. “The Rest of The Story”)

With it being such a huge corporation, and with the litigious tendencies of the American consumer, it’s no surprise that the Walt Disney Company is constantly being sued. We usually just see it as a brief mention on TV or online and hardly ever hear how the stories eventually wind up.

My favorite is the bedbugs one. “…They Sucked My Blood!!!” Geesh, overdramatize much???

But for once, we get to hear, as Paul Harvey used to say, “…the rest of the story.”

Courtroom View Network (CVN) is a U.S. company that provides video, as well as printed synopses of civil (and occasionally Federal) trials. Established in 2006, it webcasts courtroom proceedings, including civil trials, hearings, and oral arguments via subscription, as well as offers free viewing of, essentially, “Readers’ Digest Condensed Versions” of what happened during the trial, via a blog format.

This is what recently was featured on the CVN website:

Summary

In this negligence case, plaintiff is seeking damages for injuries she claims she suffered when a Disney World Resort employee ran over her foot with a service cart.

 

As per CVN, according to court records (paraphrased), a female guest with the initials J.W. claimed a Disney cast member (Disneyspeak for “employee”) ran over her foot with a service bussing cart at Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort Hotel’s food court in June 2013.  She claimed the accident had led to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a form of chronic pain, so she was seeking more than $11,000,000 in damages, including nearly $4,500,00 for future medical expenses.

The accident initially left a bruise on her foot that appeared to be relatively minor, said one of her lawyers (we’ll call him lawyer A),. Because of that, J.W. said she declined Disney’s offer to go to the hospital when she reported the incident to the hotel’s concierge. However, she said the pain grew progressively worse over the course of several days, until it became excruciating.  After various tests, she was diagnosed with CRPS.

“All of her doctors say it’s going to be life-long pain, and life-long medication, and life-long treatment. No matter how good it gets, that’s as good as it’s going to get,” said lawyer A, as he we over the medical treatments he said his client needs for the pain, which radiates up her leg. “Never cured.”

“That rare nerve disorder has gone from a bruise on the top of her foot, [to a condition that’s] now taken over her leg, and really taken over her life,” another of the woman’s lawyers (lawyer B) told the jurors. “She functions and goes to work every day, but she is not who she was as a human being, as a Mom, as a wife.”

Meanwhile, Disney’s legal team questioned the severity of the woman’s injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident. One of Disney’s lawyers told the jurors J.W. missed multiple medical appointments before the CRPS diagnosis, failed to follow doctors’ advice, and continued to work a job that required full days and frequent travel. He also submitted results of testing that showed it would be difficult for the cart to roll over a guest’s foot. “These carts [do] not run over objects very well,” he said.

Disney’s lawyer also added that J.W.’s version of the events lacked potentially key corroborating evidence. For example, she never took the name of the cast member who was pushing the cart, the concierge she said she spoke to claimed to have no memory of the incident, and Disney didn’t have accident reports it typically would make in these types of situations. During their closing arguments, Disney’s lawyers also suggested that the symptoms J.W. said she had didn’t match those seen with CRPS.

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 5.33.34 PM
via eBay / jcrichton

The trial lasted about a week and after deliberation, the Florida state court’s Ninth Circuit jury found Disney Parks and Resorts only 40% responsible for J.W.’s injuries, and J.W. was 60% responsible. The believed she should be awarded just shy $60,000, but with 60% of the responsibility on J.W. herself, it brought the damages down to just $24,000.

Not, by the way, $11 million.

And now you know the rest of the story.

If YOU were on that jury, what you YOU had said?

For more information about this trial, refer to CVN’s website:

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Reply