Disneyland Sued For Negligence in Jungle Cruise Crash

Reckless Skipper 7.jpg
Skipper: Gilligan!
Disneyland sells its popular Jungle Cruise boat ride this way:

"Board a trusty tramp steamer for a 7-minute guided tour of jungles from around the world, brimming with exotic animals and lush tropical foliage. Keep an eye out for potential perils -- and stunning beauty -- as your daring skipper navigates untamed waters with a skilled hand, a brave heart and a clever joke."

We all know the hype rarely meets reality, but in Feb. 2010, a Southern California couple claims the ride really was perilous and the skipper wasn't just daring but recklessly speedy before the boat crashed.

Those allegations are contained in a Feb. 3 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by Jeffrey and Maria Lee, who claim they were seriously injured in the accident.

"[The couple] noticed the ride operator was driving the boat very fast," the lawsuit states. "As the Jungle Cruise ride approached the Hippopotamus area of the ride, the boat crashed straight into the island and trees."

The crash threw the couple from their seats, they claim.

Disneyland reckless skipper lawsuit.jpg
This boat can speed?
In the seven-page lawsuit, Anthony F. Wiezorek, the couple's Long Beach private attorney, described the crash as "substantial" and the "negligent" cause of injuries that required medical attention.

The file does not list specific injuries or medical expenses, however.

Disneyland officials, bombarded every year with dozens and dozens of personal injury lawsuits, haven't yet filed a formal response to these latest allegations.

Superior Court Judge Kirk Nakamura will handle the case.

The Jungle Cruise ride premiered in July 1955, as one of Walt Disney's first theme park attractions.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


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44 comments
Robert Wheatley
Robert Wheatley

Sorry for the extremely belated reply: I'm not sure if it can de-rail?  http://unsinkablecork.com/jungle/images/construction-jungle-cruise.jpg This is the track, and I doubt one could muster up enough force to break it out of the track. Possibly some injury could have happened, but it would be minimal. I know you're not defending them, but I'm sure these people were making it look bigger than they seem, as some horrible people do this that don't even deserve a trip to Disney World, to make a lawsuit. Stupid couple.

Westside Activist
Westside Activist

Since it 'happens all the time', according to some who've worked there, why doesn't Disneyland fix the rail so the wheel or what ever holds the boat in can't lift out of the track except at designated locations? Can't be too difficult to put metal strips on the edges to narrow the slot on top. It's still pretty much the same as when the park first opened and is a little ratty looking. Disneyland will probably ruin it like they did the Swiss Family Robinson tree house by taking it out altogether and replacing it with some crapfest centered around the Lion King. Imagine the merchandising tie ins!

R. David
R. David

Somebody should sue Disneyland for not updating the Jungle Cruise ride.  A favorite since I was a kid, I went to Disneyland for the first time in about ten years and was very disappointed in the condition of the ride.  The landscaping was in awful shape and the "animals" were well worn and dirty.  Shame on Disneyland for letting this classic ride deteriorate as much as it has. Time to update the ride, magic-makers...

Lenny Rivers
Lenny Rivers

NUISANCE VALUE, people.  Anybody can file a lawsuit against anyone.  But, as here, if defending the lawsuit will cost thousands of dollars in attorney time, costs and fees etc.  Maybe if they're given, say 5, 10, 15 thousand the "nuisance" will settle.

It happens.  Wanna make 2 grand?  Stage a slip and fall at your supermarket and see how quickly they beg you to take a couple of thousand --before a lawsuit.

pls
pls

Why aren't other people suing?  Were they the only 2 on the boat?  And why did it take 2 years to realize they had been seriously injured?

Cnf589
Cnf589

And I'm pretty sure we would have heard of this when it "happened" and the jungle cruise would have been shut down and gone under a major refurbishment. I don't remember that happening.....

Negnada
Negnada

The story doesn't add up.

Boats can be derailed easily if the load is light enough and moving slow enough to be lifted by the trailing wake. So, the only way for a boat to strike land at that point would be for the driver to floor it through the African Veldt, then cut the engine and drift until the boat is lifted from the track.

That said, it wouldn't be a violent process. The boat would be lifted gently out of place and then slowly drift until it was stopped by solid land.

That doesn't sound anything like what the Lees described. They're hoping Disney will offer to settle quickly out of court. They're gonna lose.

HoopsFan
HoopsFan

Too funny! For the record... if your lawsuit against Disney makes it to the courts, you're all set to be laughed out of the room. If Disney is actually at fault in something, rest assured it will be settled outside of court long before it even hits the news. 

In related news, Disney is the largest employer of lawyers that is not a law firm in the country. 

Linda Aniston
Linda Aniston

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Whatever
Whatever

All I got to say is I did a search for the couples name, and if its actually the people on white pages.  They are living the high life already, that house is huge

Kerry Kugelman
Kerry Kugelman

I'd love to hear how their "serious injuries" are medically documented. "Serious injuries," in medical and legal terminology, is defined as: “a personal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person's usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.” Hyacinthe v. United States, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108192 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2009)

ON THE JUNGLE CRUISE?!?

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mitch young
mitch young

Do they still shoot (at) the hippo? Do they still have the African tribesmen chasing the great white hunter up a pole? That was one hella politically incorrect ride back in the day.

Jeepstitch
Jeepstitch

I have one word for the couple, Hydrolator! Years ago at WDW a lady complained of decompression sickness after "riding the Hydrolator" to leave the living seas hoping to get big bucks until the judge took the whole jury and court personel to see that it was just a room with doors on both sides.

Junglecruisemuse
Junglecruisemuse

This is a load of crap.  For starters the boats can only go so fast, they are on a track, and even if it did derail than it still wouldn't have happened as the couple said.  It could not crash "straight" into islands and trees.  As for them being thrown from their seats I find that hard to believe unless they were standing.  If this crash did occur than the skipper who has to stand for the cruise would be the worst injured on the boat.  This is just a couple who wants money and needs to be banned from theme parks for being extortionists.

67Insider
67Insider

The damn boats are so slow that they wouldn't even register on a standard speedometer. And the boats are on tracks (sorry if I'm ruining it for some of you).

Will people stop at nothing to make a damn buck??? If Disney settles, it just gets passed on to the consumer anyway. Ready for $14 Corn dogs???

crash
crash

When those hippos ears are wiggling you better drive fast to get away from them!

CornyWebb
CornyWebb

That Hippo looks awful dangerous ... I've seen him many times.The driver should be given a medal for saving this couple from the jaws of the Hippo.Did you know more people are killed in Africa from Hioppos than Lions?Just saying -- the Jungle Boat Driver has a serious job and he should be acknowledged.

Zimsalabim
Zimsalabim

Going fast or not its just not possible for it to do what they said it did.  Although I have seen a boat jump one wheel out of the track and turn around completely.  But to crash into an island due to reckless driving on behalf of the driver ?  No way not at all.

Dee
Dee

I doubt the boat could've been going that fast...sounds like a frivolous lawsuit!

Robert Wheatley
Robert Wheatley

Like Itselguapo said, the boats are on a fixed track. The driver could not possibly crash as the driver is not in control of the boat. Hurr durr. Nice try, California couple!

Itselguapo
Itselguapo

If you ever see when the ride is being refurbished you'd notice that the boat is on a track.... meaning it would be imposible to "crash into the island near the hippo" because if so I would say that the boat itself would be damaged. Oh well their the ones who are gonna lose money. Hundred of dollars on a lawyer. Just to lose.

Guacotaco
Guacotaco

Politically Correct? What's that?? Really everything has to be politically correct? We are becoming a country of pussies and weenies!!!!

Skipper from the 80's
Skipper from the 80's

They don't shoot at the hippos anymore... they fire in the air to "scare" them... Can't be pretending to injure fake hippos... what would PETA say?

Turnbu11
Turnbu11

Well, they sorta point the gun up and away from the boat, to minimize the sound, I guess.  Don't want to scare some one and spark a lawsuit y'know.

Marc
Marc

I'm not sure I have this right, but I think when you took the train and you could see the back of Tom Sawyer's island the house over there was on fire and the reason they said it was on fire was because the natives (indians) torched it. Now I think they say lightening caused the fire. Does anyone else remember that?

Jennifer Bristol
Jennifer Bristol

Yes, they still do both... along with the guys on a pole above the rhino.

Oldpootface
Oldpootface

..and he played a mean game of golf! =D

Greg Carrier
Greg Carrier

 and no, the boats are speed governed, and even when those fail, they aren't that fast.

Ndoorenbos
Ndoorenbos

Not that I am defending the couple, because I honestly don't think that they were that injurred, or have a case for that matter, but the skipper does control the speed of the boat, the rails are there as a guide to keep the boat on track.  You can take c-curve too fast, which is probably what happened, then the skipper probably freaked and slowed it down cause the wake to catch up to the boat, which is probably what de-railed him/her which would have allowed him/her to "crash".  But the only time I have ever seen someone injurred was when a boat de-railed and one of those prop pots fell off the boat onto them.  No doubt it probably felt scary and there was jarring, but doubtful there was serious injury (even whip-lash). 

Solicitors Manchester
Solicitors Manchester

Iagree with you. But the case is really a sad one!From this article I came to know that the boat was on a high speed. All I cansay is the speed should have been within the desirable limit. This can help ridof accidents in the future.Thanks!

Joewashere777
Joewashere777

Initially, it was being torched by natives. then, they said that the settler got drunk and left a lantern on. following this, they went from real flames to fake flames, and now no flames at all.

Tea14
Tea14

Yes I remember the burning cabin.  But I think it was seen from the riverboat not the train.

mitch young
mitch young

Don't remember that, but do remember a sign for 'Injun Joe's Cave' on Tom Sawyer's Island. 

dicksdicksdicks
dicksdicksdicks

 Only way they can come off the track is at the track switch near load/unload. Which is nowhere near the hippos, hurr durr.

Bill T.
Bill T.

It's been politically sanitized. The island has been forced into an uncomfortable pirate theme. I remember shooting at marauding savages from the blockhouse in the fort in about 1958, it's apparently now a maintenance stockade and off-limits to guests. The cave has been given a characterless new name that I forgot about as fast as I read it.

Ndoorenbos
Ndoorenbos

You are definately right.  The hippo pool is one of those places where you need to keep a constant speed or else the wake will lift you off the track...that and the nile.

Mvill1981
Mvill1981

You ate correct. They can "derail". It does happen, but I am sure they were all medically checked and signed forms for claims if this story is to be true. It seems to me this. Couple needs money, this happened in 2010. Why are they waiting now?

Tjohans
Tjohans

Actually you're wrong. Boats come off the track anytime you go too fast and slow down quickly. The wake from the water lifts the boat off the track. The hippo pool is one of the places it happens most.

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