Woman hurt on Disney World water slide without lifeguards there, suit says

Orlando, Florida, USA - February 9, 2022:  A Walt Disney World entrance arch gate in Orlando, Florida, USA. Walt Disney World is an entertainment resort complex.
The lawsuit describes a harrowing incident on a water slide.

A new lawsuit accuses Disney World of not having lifeguards at the end of a water slide to quickly respond after a woman was knocked unconscious on the ride.

Laura Reyes-Merino suffered a brain injury after riding at Typhoon Lagoon’s Humunga Kowabunga slide this month, according to the lawsuit filed in Orange Circuit Court.

“Had Defendant had lifeguards at the end of the ride to watch and help guests coming off the ride, Plaintiff’s brain injury would not have occurred as she wouldn’t have been drowning in the water coughing up blood,” the lawsuit said

The lawsuit describes the harrowing May 11 incident when Reyes-Merino was knocked out after getting banged up going down the water park’s fastest and steepest waterslide.

Reyes-Merino’s fiancé and his mother saw her limp body emerge and they frantically asked ride attendants to help. The attendants said they weren’t lifeguards and went to go find some, the lawsuit said.

“As they were all waiting for help, blood kept coming out of Plaintiff’s mouth in the water. Plaintiff’s fiancé pulled Plaintiff out of the water and they had to wait for the Defendant’s ride attendants to get a lifeguard. Eventually a lifeguard came and said they couldn’t help or touch Plaintiff either and called an ambulance,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, doesn’t say how long it took for lifeguards or the ambulance to arrive.

Morgan & Morgan is suing Disney for more than $50,000 and said their client suffered a permanent injury and lost her ability “to lead and enjoy a normal life.” Court documents don’t provide more detail into the woman’s injuries.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit’s allegations. Morgan & Morgan could not comment further.

Humunga Kowabunga is the same ride where Emma McGuinness says she received a “painful wedgie” when she went down the slide going 40 mph while on vacation in 2019 for her 30th birthday.

“The Slide caused Ms. McGuinness’ clothing to be painfully forced between her legs and for water to be violently forced inside her. She experienced immediate and severe pain internally and, as she stood up, blood began rushing from between her legs,” said her pending Orange County lawsuit filed in October.

“She was transported to a local hospital by ambulance for medical care and treatment and eventually transported to another hospital for the repair of her gynecologic injuries by a specialist.”

On its website, Disney describes Humunga Kowabunga as having a “near-vertical, 5-story drop — in the dark!”

“These 3 side-by-side enclosed body slides make for some high-octane thrills,” the website said. “You won’t know what’s coming as you zoom 214 feet downhill in the dark and spray your way to a surprise ending!”

Reyes-Merino’s alleged injury happened May 11 so it’s too soon to appear on the quarterly state injury report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Disney and other major Florida parks self-report theme park injuries when someone is hurt on a ride and hospitalized for at least 24 hours.

Over the years, three people were reported hurt on Humunga Kowabunga, according to the state injury report.

Two women got cut on the slide in 2013 and 2015. A 10-year-old boy fractured his hip in 2015.

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 .


  • Impeach Biden

    May 21, 2024 at 12:26 pm

    Morgan & Morgan = Bottom
    Feeding scum suckers. Sue happy / lotto fever. Too many lawyers in this country.

    • Ocean Joe

      May 21, 2024 at 1:37 pm

      Until YOU need them.

      Haven’t been to Disneyworld since 1976. I guess now it’s OK to bleed after you go on one of the rides there.

      • Impeach Biden

        May 21, 2024 at 2:22 pm

        How many people have gone down that slide? How many of them have been injured? All of the playground equipment I played on as a kid is gone now because of slime ball and slime ball and lotto fever.

        • Ocean Joe

          May 21, 2024 at 3:00 pm

          We had some dangerous stuff. One was about a 12′ tall steel post with cables coming down to a free hanging circular frame that rotated around but was also free to smash into the post. Surprised nobody lost a leg.

          Listen, you make money, you invite the public, you make everything safe or you pay.

        • PutTrump InPrison

          May 22, 2024 at 12:11 pm

          The only time that slide doesn’t have a lifeguard permanently stationed at the bottom, is when the park is closed.

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    May 21, 2024 at 1:15 pm

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  • Cindy

    May 21, 2024 at 6:25 pm

    The only attorneys that went to bat for a case where mines. Yea I sunk to the ground..
    They domain me once I awhile to get a good attorney now..

Comments are closed.


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