Family Sues Disney Animal Kingdom After Snake Falls From Tree And Bites Boy, Says Snake Stress Killed Grandma

A family from Alabama is suing Disney’s Animal Kingdom after snake fell from a tree at the park and landed on their 8-year-old son. The snake bit the child on the finger, but was non-venomous so the bite only required a Band-Aide from the Disney nurse. However, the family says that the boy’s great-grandmother, who was in her 80s, witnessed the snake bite and it sent her into cardiac arrest. They say she died from the stress of the event two days after the Disney trip. However, Disney says that is not exactly how it all played out, noting that the whole family returned to the park for a day of fun after the bite incident, including grandma. They also report that they never received a call from the family for an ambulance while in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

According to Click Orlando, the snake bite incident at Disney’s Animal Kingdom took place back in October of 2014. The family’s lawyer Matt Morgan says that while at the Animal Kingdom, an 8-year-old boy was bitten by a snake on the finger after it fell on him from a tree. The snake bite was minor and only required a Band-Aide, which was given by the Disney nurse. However, Morgan says that the family’s lawsuit is surrounding the death of the boy’s great-grandmother who they say went into cardiac arrest after witnessing the snake bite.

The lawyer claims that the snake had escaped the Disney park and entered an area “reserved for the general public.” He notes that the snake fell from a tree above the child and then proceeded to bite the boy on the finger. Immediately following the incident, the family went to the Disney nurse station and the boy received immediate treatment. It was noted that the snake was not venomous and that the bite was not serious in nature. In fact, the only treatment that was required was a Band-Aide on the finger.

However, Morgan says that the snake never should have been in the area for the “general public” and that Disney was negligent for allowing the snake into that area. The lawyer says if they can prove their was negligence on Disney’s park and prove that grandma’s death was due, at least in part, to the snake incident, they have a case.

“If we can prove that there is negligence on the part of Disney for allowing this snake to be on its premises and that negligence was the proximate cause and legal cause of the grandmother’s death, that is a more significant claim.”

Though the lawyer claims the snake got free from an Animal Kingdom park area, Disney says that is not true and that the snake was a wild snake which was native to Florida. They says that the snake was simply part of nature in Florida and that it was not part of the park exhibits. They also claim that contrary to the lawyer’s assertion that the grandmother died from the shock of seeing the snake bite, which sent her into cardiac arrest, the park officials say that the grandmother did not require an ambulance while on park property and that the family went back into the Animal Kingdom following the bite incident and spent the rest of the day at the park without incident.

WESH notes that the grandmother died two days after the incident and was in her 80s or early 90s. However, the family’s lawyer says she was in “perfect health” before coming to the park. While the family’s lawyer claims the stress of the Disney snake bite paved the way for the cardiac incident, many people are questioning the validity of the claim noting that if the woman was in her 80s or 90s and spending time in the October heat walking around a Disney park, the heat may have been her demise, not the snake bite.


What do you think about the Disney’s Animal Kingdom lawsuit? Should Disney be held liable if it is determined the snake was wild and not from their collection? Even if the snake was a Disney snake, are they liable for the grandmother’s death as she returned to the park after the incident with the family?

[Photo by Peter Cosgrove/AP Photo]