From the Orlando Sentinel.....
The mother of Chase Brubaker, the 9-year-old killed at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge in April, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.and Disney bus driver David R. Rich.
Brubaker, of Redington Beach, died after he struck the side of a passing Disney bus and was pulled under its rear wheels. The Florida Highway Patrol blamed a flat bicycle tire for the fatality, saying the child’s dirt bike was in “unsafe condition.”
The lawsuit, filed late last week in Orlando’s Circuit Court, blames sidewalk conditions and the park bus system for the death.
It states that pedestrians often must step off the sidewalk and onto the roadway or an unpaved wetland area to avoid other cyclists and pedestrians. Railings and steep gullies stop people from stepping toward the interior of the park when trying to pass others, according to the complaint
“Consequently, contact between a pedestrian and a bus or vehicle was reasonably foreseeable to occur and therefore cause serious injury or death to the pedestrian,” the lawsuit claims.
On the day of the collision, the bus driven by David Rich was heading south on Big Pine Road in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, the suit says. Chase Brubaker was on his bicycle wearing a safety helmet, riding on the sidewalk and heading south as well, before the collision.
The suit says Disney “owed a duty of care to its invitees…to ensure that the bus system was operated such that it was free from hazards that were reasonably foreseeable to cause death or serious injuries.”
It also should have a road system free of such hazards as well, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit calls for damages in excess of $15,000.
Disney spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez cited the FHP report and said the driver was found to be not at fault. She added, however, “it doesn’t lessen the sadness we feel for the Brubaker family.” She also said it is “inappropriate to comment further as the matter is in litigation.”