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What level of liability is required at tourist attractions?

When people go to theme parks or visit hotels, there is a certain expectation of safety. Those seeking thrills on roller coasters or simply walking through an amusement park generally think that their protection is assured. However, the presence of alligators in waterways has taught many in New York a terrible lesson in assumptions when it comes to tourist attractions.

Many in New York and across the country travel to Disney World with their children. Something which has just come to light is that alligators have inhabited the south's marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes for many centuries, and are found in all 67 counties. Additionally, in recent years, the state of Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth. Many residents seek waterfront homes and increasingly participate in water-related activities. This can result in more frequent alligator-human interactions, and a greater potential for conflict.

The recent story about a two-year-old boy who was killed at Disney World has caused concern for many parents who are considering taking their children to southern vacation destinations. According to experts, any hotel or proprietor has a duty of care to its customers and should take reasonable steps in order to make the premises safe. In addition, there are questions as to how long the property knew about the presence of alligators and what steps were taken in order to provide protections for its visitors.

Those in New York faced with similar tragic circumstances when visiting tourist attractions may benefit from discussing their unique situations with an attorney. Attorneys who are experienced in premises liability may be in the best position to discuss the best way to pursue civil litigation, based upon the circumstances. A civil suit could allow surviving family members the ability to cover any medical costs associated with a preventable attack and can also provide compensation for the psychological pain-and-suffering that occurs.

Source: The Washington Post, "Legal experts: Did Disney do enough to warn its guests about alligators?", Brady Dennis and Darryl Fears, June 15, 2016

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