Disney Sued For ADA Violations Over ‘Small World’ Mishap
A man with quadriplegia is suing Disneyland alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act after he says park employees left him stranded for 40 minutes when the “It’s a Small World” ride broke down.
Jose Martinez says that he and his wife were left on the ride even though all other passengers were evacuated. While the couple waited, Martinez experienced dysreflexia, a condition sparked by nervous system overstimulation that can result in stroke or death. He says that park employees did not respond to requests for medical attention and did not attempt to help him off the ride.
“To the millions of visitors each year, Disneyland touts itself as the ‘Happiest Place on Earth.’ But for the Martinez family, Disneyland was the ‘Scariest Place on Earth,'” said Shawna Parks, legal director for the Disability Rights Legal Center, which filed suit on behalf of Martinez. “Disneyland’s failure to have policies and training regarding emergency evacuation procedures for persons with mobility disabilities knowingly endangers the lives of the thousands of persons with disabilities who visit Disneyland each year.”
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The federal lawsuit filed this week alleges violations of state and federal discrimination laws, including the ADA.
Officials at Disneyland Resorts said in a statement to the Associated Press that the park does have procedures for evacuating people with disabilities.