A return to normal? Disney World sued over scooter crash

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'It completely ruined her trip.'

Perhaps it’s a sign the crowds are coming back in full force to Disney World: The parks were recently sued over a scooter crash.

Pre-pandemic, the theme parks regularly faced litigation after visitors were run over by electric scooters and then filed lawsuits. Once, a college basketball player was hit by a scooter in 2018 at Hollywood Studios which injured him so badly, he had to sit out for his entire season, he said in court documents.

But during the pandemic, the growing number of lawsuits slowed down. Disney had shut its doors during the pandemic and then reopened with limited crowds that left the pathways sometimes empty. There was plenty of room to navigate. But lately, the parks often feel more like they did before with higher attendance now that people are anxious to travel again and feel safer from COVID-19.

In the latest scooter-related lawsuit, Jamie Pineda is suing for more than $30,000.

Pineda says she was hit from behind by a scooter while she stood in line for an attraction Dec. 29 at Epcot, according to her lawsuit filed March 31 in Orange Circuit Court.

Dec. 29 likely would have been a busy day at Disney World, sandwiched between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In an interview Tuesday, her Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Lowell Karr said the incident happened while waiting for the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Film in the France Pavilion.

Pineda, who is from Texas, has been visiting Orlando with her husband and children, her attorney said.

“It completely ruined her trip,” Karr said. “It’s a huge blow. You go to the theme park and want to have fun with the kids.”

Her attorney said her injuries included dislocating her knee and suffering a tear in her ankle.

“She returned home to get medical treatment,” Karr said. “She is still receiving treatment for some of these injuries.”

The lawsuit accuses Disney of letting electric scooters get too close to guests, not maintaining order for patrons, and failing to help Pineda after she was injured, among other allegations.

“She suffered significant injuries while at the park, and she believes Disney is responsible for that,” Karr said.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But for Disney, scooters also are a complicated issue to manage as the walkways again become more congested with Disney-goers — those walking and those rolling. Disney is limited in how it can regulate scooters because of federal law governing rights for people with disabilities, some legal experts and disability advocates have said.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is a journalist who covers theme parks and Florida tourism. She previously worked at the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Toledo Blade and the Kalamazoo Gazette. She graduated from Michigan State University.


19 comments

  • Vic

    April 5, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    This is ridiculous. She isn’t going to get anything. Disney can not control someone driving one of those scooters. If she was hurt that badly she should have gotten the info on the person who ran her over and sued them.

    • Bob

      April 5, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      Nailed it, but Disney has more money.

  • JD

    April 5, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    People need to quit texting/scrolling and driving while on the scooters, as well as not let small children sit on their laps and steer and use the throttle.

    • Jon Rob

      April 6, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      And people should quit texting/scrolling while walking. That’s when most incidents happen.

  • Connie

    April 5, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    It’s not Disney’s fault! It was the person in the scooters fault!
    Stop suing Disney about things out of their control!

  • Susan

    April 5, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    I can’t help but wonder if she was already standing still, or did she suddenly stop in front of the scooter. I have to use a scooter in the parks and keep it on a very low speed, and they don’t stop in a fraction of a second, and I’ve had people walk right in front of me, as if I wasn’t there. I agree that it isn’t Disney’s fault, and she should have gotten information from the driver. Did she also get assistance from a Disney emergency crew? They have people there that can provide emergency medical help.

    • GracieG

      April 9, 2022 at 12:46 am

      She was standing in line waiting for a seat. The lady accelerated on her scooter and slammed into her. Dislocated her knee and tore a tendon in her ankle. She was holding her 8 mnth old son as well. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt too!

  • Debbie

    April 5, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    I go to Disney at least twice a year and I have my own scooter. I know the French Pavillion well and it can get tight. However, I also know that the CMs have scooters go to the left in the waiting area and the scooters go in first unless the other guests stampede(which I’ve seen them do). I frequently have other guests walk right in front of me and stop. I know to keep my scooter speed close to turtle when I’m in Disney crowds because of this. Now if it was one of the park models, they are clumsy and bulky to operate and I could see them doing that kind of damage but I have to say, I think the “victim” shares at least half of the blame

    • Peggy

      April 5, 2022 at 9:37 pm

      I agree. I think the Disney scooters should have a max speed. I just recently bought a companion driven wheel chair. It does not go over 2-3 mph with my gear. Yet they cut me off , walk their kids into my chair my daughter sits in and stop in front of you. I will blame Disney for one thing the leaving after fire works was a nightmare. They packed the stroller and wheelchairs and scooters in with the people getting on the ferry up until just before the ferry waiting gate then said strollers and wheels to the right.

      Needless to say elbows and backpacks are head level for people in wheelchairs. People have no clue how to walk around us. Others literally climb over us. Maybe a dedicated lane at the start would help there. And in the park maybe have a dedicated lane to the right and middle for those with strollers and walk. It can be a nightmare no matter how careful I am they walk with out regard to the fact I can not move over as quickly as a stroller. We can not even walk side by side as we have two wheelchairs for our disabled daughters

    • GracieG

      April 6, 2022 at 8:43 am

      How can you assume the “victim” shares half the blame when you don’t know exactly what happened? Why were scooters and pedestrians allowed to enter a small space at the same time? Disney should have more order to prevent situations like this from happening. I personally know the “victim”. She was standing waiting for people to be seated when she was hit from behind out of no where…there should be a separate entrance in all shows for people in wheelchairs/scooters.. just like on the Frozen ever after show in Epcot…

  • M

    April 5, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    I think the scooter issue needs to be addressed by both drivers and walkers. Those driving scooters in crowds need to be looking forward so they don’t run over walkers in front of them. (Happened to us) Likewise, walkers need to not walk in front of scooters and let them pass for goodness sakes. Also Disney needs a separate line for scooters. It’s hard for them to travers the lines. Seen a lot of accidents happen because of that.

  • Dave

    April 6, 2022 at 1:01 am

    As someone uses a scooter when at parks this article does same as others never talk to someone who uses a scooter. People constantly walk without paying attention like their on a street in a busy town they don’t watch their kids who run right at the scooter or run in a circle. Oh and those who have had a little to much to drink and stumble and bumble. Disney does have. DSA assistance for come back times to help with ride line issues but it’s getting hard to get because if complaining about that. What people don’t realize is we wait as long as they do sometimes more because some lines move quicker. It goes both ways maybe a designated scooter lane but that only works if people stay out of it like the one at epcopt that goes into the land and garden grill but people walk down it all the time and get upset when a scooter is using the lane as intended. I have become very good at stopping quick and going slow but those who are new to scooter don’t know these lessons and Disney could put more restrictions on their power scooters they rent to guest. It goes both way and their is solution if people go back to respect and being careful and paying attention.

  • Jim Henington

    April 6, 2022 at 6:58 am

    Sorry that this happened. Some people don’t know how to control an ECV. But, I have been disabled for several years and an ECV allows me to enjoy Disney. When I first started using one people were courteous and usually would actually step back to allow me to get where I needed to go. But now people will look me in the eye then step right in front of me, then get mad if I got too close to them.

  • Brittany W

    April 6, 2022 at 11:45 am

    If the scooters weren’t constantly in use by obese whales who are too busy stuffing their faces instead of paying attention to where they’re going, less accidents would happen. Those scooters are for disabled people, not fatasses. It would do those people good to walk anyway. Lose some of that weight. I’ve gotten knocked by scooters at Walmart more times than I’d like to admit. Every time it was some random fat lady.

    • Dennis

      April 6, 2022 at 11:56 am

      WOW!

    • Nette

      April 6, 2022 at 2:50 pm

      Wow I hope u never get big for some reason….

    • Joe McCormick

      April 15, 2022 at 10:39 am

      Well said!

  • Jon Rob

    April 6, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Disney recently changed the rule for DAS and now all lines at Disney have room for wheelchairs and scooters. So these type of incidents will increase. The old way was to have an assigned time to return. Which worked great. One thing Disney needs to do is go back to the old way and require a Dr slip requiring a mobility device.

  • Dan Mongosa

    April 6, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    🎵It’s a Lawsuit World After All🎵

Comments are closed.


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