Disneyland Sued For Negligence in Jungle Cruise Crash

Disneyland sells its popular Jungle Cruise boat ride this way:

“Board a trusty tramp steamer for a 7-minute guided tour of jungles from around the world, brimming with exotic animals and lush tropical foliage. Keep an eye out for potential perils — and stunning beauty — as your daring skipper navigates untamed waters with a skilled hand, a brave heart and a clever joke.”

We all know the hype rarely meets reality, but in Feb. 2010, a Southern California couple claims the ride really was perilous and the skipper wasn't just daring but recklessly speedy before the boat crashed.

Those allegations are contained in a Feb. 3 lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by Jeffrey and Maria Lee, who claim they were seriously injured in the accident.

“[The couple] noticed the ride operator was driving the boat very fast,” the
lawsuit states. “As the Jungle Cruise ride approached the Hippopotamus
area of the ride, the boat crashed straight into the island and trees.”

The crash threw the couple from their seats, they claim.

In the seven-page lawsuit, Anthony F. Wiezorek,
the couple's Long Beach private attorney, described the crash as “substantial”
and the “negligent” cause of injuries that required medical attention.

The file does not list specific injuries or medical expenses, however.

officials, bombarded every year with dozens and dozens of personal
injury lawsuits, haven't yet filed a formal response to these latest

Superior Court Judge Kirk Nakamura will handle the case.

The Jungle Cruise ride premiered in July 1955, as one of Walt Disney's first theme park attractions.

–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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