Parents of toddler killed by Gator at Walt Disney World won’t sue company


Last month a toddler was attacked and drowned by an alligator in the shallow water of the Grand Floridian Resort. The parents fought back, but were unable to save their son. Today, the parents announced that they will honor the memory of their son with a foundation in his name and will not sue The Walt Disney Company for their son’s death.

It was a tragic accident that will forever change the makeup of one Nebraska family and caused Walt Disney World to re-think how it protects its guests from all wild animals at the resort. But it sounds like there will be some good to come out of it in the end.

I can’t speak to exactly what Disney did for the family in this situation, and neither can the family representative who would neither confirm nor deny a settlement with Disney. However, we can say that similar events in the past have seen insurance payments to the injured family and I would not be surprised if Disney didn’t make the first large donation to the Lane Thomas Foundation.

Here’s the family’s statement on the matter:

Melissa and I are broken. We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane. As each day passes, the pain gets worse, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and warm sentiments we have received from around the world. We know that we can never have Lane back, and therefore, we intend to keep his spirit alive through the Lane Thomas Foundation. It is our hope that through the foundation we will be able to share with others the unimaginable love Lane etched in our hearts. In addition to the foundation, we will solely be focused on the future health of our family and will not be pursuing a lawsuit against Disney. For now, we continue to ask for privacy as we focus on our family.

For Disney’s part, the Disney World president George Kalogridis said that the company would continue to provide support for the family, but did not elaborate exactly what that meant.

Do you believe Disney should have settled with the family who tragically lost their young son?

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2 thoughts on “Parents of toddler killed by Gator at Walt Disney World won’t sue company

  1. Jae

    It is Disney. They are a company who is about creating magical moments & forever memories. I am sure they did right by the family. The Thomas’ are good people and did not give in to the pressures of our “sue happy” society. It is nobody’s business what went on between the family and Disney . Nor is it anybody’s place to judge the family or Disney. Give them their space and healing time. Let them do what they need to do to move forward with their lives.

  2. Deanna Whitten

    It was a tragic accident…. God called Lane home that night and there was nothing anyone could do about it.. What do they say? When it’s your time, it’s your time. They did right by not suing Disney… but I am sure Disney made it right. I am sure the Disney Lawyer’s were all over it from the moment it happened. I have a feeling that Walt was right by Lane’s side through the journey of passing. RIP little Lane…

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