Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Resort for Lack of Spanish Signs


International visitors flock to tourist attractions in New York every day. A recent lawsuit filed by a Guatemalan family highlights the issue of tourist venues providing safety warnings to people in languages other than English. Universal Orlando Resort is the target of a lawsuit that assigns liability for a man's heart attack to the resort operator because it failed to display warning signs in Spanish.

The 38-year-old man died of a heart attack shortly after experiencing the "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" ride. The ride relies on 3D screens and animatronics to create the environment from the King Kong movies. Passengers ride in a truck that tilts, accelerates and moves suddenly. Displayed signs, which were in English and included pictures, urged people with heart problems and other conditions not to use the ride.

The lawyer for the family said that warning signs should have been in multiple languages, especially because Orlando attracts an international crowd. Local tourism statistics indicated that over 6 million people from outside the United States visited the area in 2017. Almost 900,000 of those tourists came from Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, which are all Spanish-speaking countries. A spokesman for the theme park could not provide a statement about pending litigation.

Property owners and managers have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. The legal concept of premises liability obligates them to address dangerous property conditions. A victim might want the representation of a lawyer when seeking compensation for medical bills and lost income. An attorney could gather evidence about the accident and manage court paperwork. Legal advice might also help a client judge the acceptability of a settlement offer.