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Premises liability: Alligator kills child at Disney facility

In New Hampshire and other states, property owners are responsible for making their premises reasonably safe. Obvious hazards must be removed or repaired. When the failure to meet these standards leads to the personal injury or death of another person, the property owner may have to face a premises liability claim. A tragic incident at a world-renowned resort facility in another state may lead to such a lawsuit.

A vacationing family apparently attended a movie night that was held outdoors. At approximately 9 p.m., witnesses apparently saw the family's 2-year-old boy wade into the shallow water at the edge of a lagoon on the property. Unexpectedly, an alligator grabbed the child. Both parents and some witnesses jumped into the water to try and save the child. The father said he tried to pry open the jaws of the gator, to no avail.

The alligator disappeared under the water, taking the child with him. Boats were immediately sent out to search the lagoon, which was on a Walt Disney World resort facility. Tragically, the child's body was recovered the following afternoon with several bite marks. It is believed that his death was caused by drowning. Authorities said warning signs to prevent swimming in the lagoon were clearly posted.

The family of the child who died in this incident may well have a viable premises liability claim. Such claims can be complicated, and New Hampshire residents in similar circumstances may choose to utilize the services of an experienced premises liability attorney. A lawyer can pursue financial relief on behalf of the family.

Source: CNN, "Disney gator attack: 2-year-old Nebraska boy found dead", Eliott C. McLaughlin, Joshua Berlinger, Ashley Fantz and Steve Almasy, June 16, 2016

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