A visitor to Walt Disney World has sued the Florida theme park, claiming in her lawsuit that she was “dive-bombed” by an angry bird, causing severe injuries, per The Orlando Sentinel. The visitor says that the theme park should have warned her that nesting birds were a hazard.
Lisa Dixon claims that she suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple herniated discs after the attack, one which took place in May of 2017. At the time, she was walking onto a dock at the Polynesian Resort, where she was to board a boat that would have taken her across Seven Seas Lagoon. Before that happened, however, she says a bird “dive-bombed” her, causing her injuries. She was not able to name the bird, but according to her lawsuit, she believes that it was a bird undergoing its seasonal migration.
Her lawyer, Thomas Schmitt, says that the Florida resort gave her a “false sense of security” when it comes to animals, and did properly warn her — or other guests — about the dangers of migrating birds. “If there’s a company that’s well-versed in safety, it should be Disney,” he told reporters.
Her lawsuit seeks “unspecified damages in excess of $15,000,” according to Yahoo! News.
— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) May 29, 2019
Schmitt says that the bird attack, the force of which he likened to being struck by a baseball, also changed his client’s personality.
Walt Disney World has not offered comment on the incident, saying only that they would respond to the allegations in court.
The Florida resort walks a fine line between keeping guests comfortable, managing nuisance animals, and minimizing its environmental impact. For example, as The Independent reports, the park manages mosquitoes by populating the area with a species of chicken that feeds on the insects.
Unfortunately, some animals have bedeviled guests, despite the resort’s best efforts — sometimes with fatal consequences.
In 2016, as The Odyssey reports, the Graves family of Nebraska were enjoying a walk near the Seven Seas Lagoon — adjacent to the Grand Floridian Resort — when an alligator popped out of the water, snatching 2-year-old Lane Graves in its jaws. The animal pulled the toddler into the water, and the boy drowned.
Graves had been wading in ankle-deep water at the time, despite “No Swimming” signs posted around the man-made lake. Graves’ family claimed that the resort never specifically warned them that there could be alligators in the water. Since Graves’ death, the resort has installed signage around the water warning of the dangers, telling guests — in no uncertain terms — not to enter the water.