Disney, SeaWorld each face new catastrophic injury lawsuits

‘We will fight for accountability to ensure this does not happen again.’

A boy playing in a basketball tournament at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and a man with disabilities visiting SeaWorld Orlando both suffered catastrophic injuries, according to a pair of new lawsuits filed by Morgan & Morgan.

On April 17, the boy hurt his hand on a metal sign on a baseball field at the Disney World sporting complex and ended up getting two fingers amputated, according to the lawsuit filed by the boy’s parent, Alachua County resident Chucassia Miller, against Disney that’s seeking more than $30,000 in Orange Circuit County Court.

“We have begun a thorough investigation to determine what led to this incident and what could have been done to prevent it. Our client’s life, as a child, has now been changed forever, and we will fight for accountability to ensure this does not happen again,” Morgan & Morgan attorneys John Morgan and Tyler Kobylinski said in a statement.

Court documents do not give the boy’s age.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

In the second incident, Hector Martinez Monterrosa, of Columbus, Georgia, was hurt at SeaWorld Orlando on March 27, 2021, and later died, according to a lawsuit filed by his wife, Wanda Torres, that’s also seeking more than $30,000 in damages in Orange County Circuit Court.

Attorneys from Morgan & Morgan provided a detailed account of what happened.

“As a disabled person, Hector required the use of a wheelchair to enter the park. Hector’s wife, Wanda Torres, was pushing him along pedestrian pathways near a new entrance as part of SeaWorld’s COVID protocols, when Hector’s wheelchair hit an uneven sidewalk, throwing him off, and he landed on his back and hit his head on the ground,” according to a statement by Morgan & Morgan attorney Brandon M. Smith. “The paramedics were called and transported Hector to Osceola Regional where he received medical treatment. He was soon discharged but continued to complain about feeling unwell and experienced a loss of appetite. Hector was subsequently readmitted to the hospital, where doctors discovered a subdural hematoma. On April 7, 2021, Hector succumbed to his injuries and passed away.”

His wife is struggling with grief after losing her husband, the attorneys said.

“Hundreds-of-thousands of families visit Orlando theme parks every day just like Hector Monterrosa and his family,” the attorneys’ statement said. “They budgeted and saved their money so they could enjoy time together at one of their favorite places, SeaWorld. Tragically, due to SeaWorld’s alleged failure to properly maintain their sidewalks, Hector sustained severe injuries that later led to his death. We strongly believe his death could have been prevented and will fight to ensure SeaWorld is held accountable.”

SeaWorld declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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