According to the Courthouse News Service, Christine P. Wuennenberg, mother of the cast member killed in an accident involving two of Walt Disney World’s monorail trains in July, has filed a wrongful death claim in Orange County Court.
The claim asserts that Disney was aware of the dangers of the functions being performed at the time and deliberately ignored safety procedures enacted by Disney itself as well as disobeyed explicit warnings included in the operations manual provided by the manufacturer.
According to the complaint, Disney commonly forced pilots to disregard the guide, “as it did not want to keep customers waiting, which would impact the ability for Walt Disney to maximize profits.”
The complaint also goes to mention that a monorail coordinator was supposed to be stationed at the command center to direct and visually confirm monorail traffic, but on the night of the collision he was at a restaurant, and was “falsely reporting via two-way radio … that they were receiving visual confirmation … thereby misleading the monorail operators into believing that it was safe and appropriate” to reverse the monorail onto the other line.”
Several outlets reported today that the mother of Austin Wuennenberg, the Disney Monorail operator who was killed in a tragic collision on July 4, had filed a petition earlier in the week for a Pure Bill of Discovery. The petition, filed on behalf of Christine Wuennenberg, requested she have access to evidence that Disney may be in possession of in regards to the incident including video of the Monorails, audio communication and ‘black box’ data. Wuennenberg’s lawyers also requested access to the complete list of witnesses, employees involved in Monorail operation and logs of said employee’s whereabouts for months leading up to the crash. The petition cited a concern that evidence ‘may be destroyed, erased and/or altered.’ An alternate request to insure that Disney did not destroy any potential evidence was also made.
While no official signed order denying the request has been filed as of yet, electronic court records indicate that the request has been denied. No determination has been made in terms of the alternate request as of yet.
This article which covers the rulings thus far also goes on to explain the challenges involved in a successful wrongful death suit against an employer in the state of Florida, suggesting that the standard of proof may be higher than even that of manslaughter.