Poly Bird Lawsuit

jcb

always emerging from hibernation
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Since it was mentioned on the podcast, I'll say that this is a bizarre lawsuit.

Whatever appears in the press, the complaint alleges the guest was walking along the dock where the boat to the MK launches when she was "struck in the head by a bird." There is no mention in the complaint of any "brain injury" which makes the attorney's statement very odd.

The allegation is that WDW "was aware that there were seasonal nesting birds which could cause harm to invitees on the premises." Now, this isn't my area of expertise but I seem to recall that to hold a landowner liable for wild animal attacks on their property (including birds) there has to be some evidence that the land-owner knew (actually or constructively) there were dangerous wild animals on the property which had a history of attacking patrons. In dog bite cases, for example, this was referred to as the one free bite rule (which wasn't ever a "rule" and, in any event, Florida did away with this by statute). In any event there is a difference between a domesticated dog and a "seasonal nesting bird."

Anyway, I'll upload the complaint and you can make up your own mind.
 

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MsOnceUponATime

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
How outlandish!

I'm not an attorney, but I have a paralegal background and have helped choose juries. I'm glad that the Plaintiff's attorney is requesting a jury trial because I do not believe that this case has a leg to stand on and I don't think that there are many people on that jury that will either. Just my opinion because I don't have any additional information or pictures, medical bills, etc. , but this case is really reaching for Disney's deep pockets.... which we all know that Disney has.
 
  • Tiggerette

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2013
    If it's a seasonal nesting bird, it also sounds like a migratory bird that might be a protected species. If so, how could a person or corporation remove a nest/birds that are under protected status? Hmmm.....
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    Web page of the legal firm handling this suit. Draw your own conclusions.
     
  • SorcererHeidi

    Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2007
    Web page of the legal firm handling this suit. Draw your own conclusions.
    Is that like 1-800-US-LAWYER?

    They actually came to my HQ's to pick up an incident report years ago. When the guy told me the name of the company for the request form, I literally could not help myself, and guffawed right in his face. Of course, I apologized quickly, but he looked pretty much mortally offended. :rotfl2:
     

    marcyleecorgan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2017
    definitely a "what type of bird" legal question, as if protected, endangered, etc., then nobody can do anything about it.

    how boring. and here I was hoping I was going to read a good story like, "the pelican landed in my empty stroller and refused to leave!"
     
  • Euby

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2014
    @jcb - I've read through the complaint and have a few questions/comments...
    1. It states, "Plaintiff was upon the premises as a business invitee." What does "business invitee" mean? Is that just a legal way of saying resort guest?
    2. "Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty to make sure that there were no hazards on the dock." Sarcastic comment in 3.... 2.... 1..... The hazard wasn't on the dock but in the air. :duck:
    3. As I read through it, I got the distinct impression that the attorneys for the Plaintiff have a standard "Disney boilerplate" for complaints.
    My brother is an attorney and in the past has had "personal injury" cases. He has always said that you always want to settle out of court or get arbitration, if you can. Juries can be a nightmare. What 1 set of 12 people decide can be completely different from another. They must think they have a really strong case. I'm curious to see how this all turns out.
     

    jek22

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    As a litigation attorney in NYC, this lawsuit is offensive to even read. It shows a lack of a basic understanding of the law and the responsibility of a land owner. It is also highly unlikely she is a business invitee.

    Finally this language is laughable: "Negligently allowing a dangerous condition on the subject premises." I guess Disney should have been aware of the rare dive bombing bird. Essentially, the argument is that the entire Poly should be in a dome or net, to prevent birds from attacking.

    I would love the opportunity to depose the plaintiff.
     

    Viking7641

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2016
    As a litigation attorney in NYC, this lawsuit is offensive to even read. It shows a lack of a basic understanding of the law and the responsibility of a land owner. It is also highly unlikely she is a business invitee.

    Finally this language is laughable: "Negligently allowing a dangerous condition on the subject premises." I guess Disney should have been aware of the rare dive bombing bird. Essentially, the argument is that the entire Poly should be in a dome or net, to prevent birds from attacking.

    I would love the opportunity to depose the plaintiff.

    I knew I should’ve gone to law school. Easy 💰 🤣

    I have images in my head of the pteranodon dome from Jurassic World
     

    jek22

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    at least $15,000, that is solely pled in order to meet the jurisdictional requirement. In NYC, allegations of TBI generally result in demands over a million dollars. We will never know her demand, because generally demands are made for settlement purposes only and are confidential. The jury will decide.
     

    jcb

    always emerging from hibernation
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2007
    @jcb - I've read through the complaint and have a few questions/comments...
    1. It states, "Plaintiff was upon the premises as a business invitee." What does "business invitee" mean? Is that just a legal way of saying resort guest?
    2. "Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty to make sure that there were no hazards on the dock." Sarcastic comment in 3.... 2.... 1..... The hazard wasn't on the dock but in the air. :duck:
    3. As I read through it, I got the distinct impression that the attorneys for the Plaintiff have a standard "Disney boilerplate" for complaints.
    My brother is an attorney and in the past has had "personal injury" cases. He has always said that you always want to settle out of court or get arbitration, if you can. Juries can be a nightmare. What 1 set of 12 people decide can be completely different from another. They must think they have a really strong case. I'm curious to see how this all turns out.
    Historically, and still (in most states) the legal duties of a landowner varied depending on the status of the injured party. Essentially, a landowner has less of a duty toward a "trespasser" than she does to a social guest and less of a duty to a social guest than a "business invitee." As you have surmised, "business invitee" is simply a legalistic way of saying the plaintiff was there at Disney's "invitation", but this is the same "invitation" it extends to all resort guests.

    Now, it isn't alleged in the complaint but I thought I read that Ms. Dixon resides in Celebration. If so, that wouldn't prevent her from being a business invitee, of course, but it does make it much more likely that she was aware of the potential dangers from the marauding birds in Central Florida.

    I hoping to visit the locus in quo to photograph the July 3/4 fireworks and I'm not loosing any sleep worrying about whether I might get dive bombed. Spiders and snakes, on the other hand....
     

    jek22

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2019
    You picked up on an interesting point, within your sarcastic comment. "Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty to make sure that there were no hazards on the dock." Sarcastic comment in 3.... 2.... 1..... The hazard wasn't on the dock but in the air.
    In NY a hazard on the dock would have to be inherent in the dock, like uneven, loose or damages planks. I am unsure if Florida case law has interpreted such language in the same manner.
    It would be illogical and contrary to common sense if hazards on the dock meant any and everything. So if you are struck by lightning on the aforementioned dock you can sue because they failed to prevent hazards on the dock?
     

    loblolly

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 24, 2018
    My son was attacked by a goose protecting it's nest. He didn't want to hurt it, but eventually kicked his leg out to get it off of him. I felt bad for laughing when I saw that the goose actually left a mark on his leg, through his pants. To make ourselves feel better, we sat on a nearby park bench and watched other people walk on the trail past the nest. No legal recourse needed. We still fondly remember that incident from time to time.
    I wonder what kind of bird hit her. I do hope she's OK, but trying to picture what happened in my head makes me snicker. Was she blindsided, or did she see it coming?
     


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