Disney alligator attack: Family of dead boy won’t sue

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 22:14:17-04

By Steve Almasy


(CNN) — The family of Lane Graves, the toddler killed by an alligator at a Disney World hotel in June, won’t sue the Walt Disney Company, his parents said Wednesday in a statement.

“Melissa and I are broken,” Matt Graves said. “We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane. As each day passes, the pain gets worse, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and warm sentiments we have received from around the world.”

The Graveses, who are from Nebraska, said they have started the Lane Thomas Foundation. According to its website, the foundation will donate funds to charitable organizations.

When asked whether it provided a contribution to the foundation, Disney sent a statement that said it would continue to support the family.

An alligator grabbed 2-year-old Lane as he was walking in a foot of water in a lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and dragged the boy into the water. He was found the next day not far from shore. He died from drowning and traumatic injuries, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Before his death, there were “No Swimming” signs at the hotel beach, but Disney has since installed four sets of messages: “Danger,” “Alligators and snakes in area,” “Stay away from the water” and “Do not feed the wildlife.”

Disney also roped off the beach by the water.

At one point, a GoFundMe campaign had raised about $25,000 for the family. That fundraising drive is no longer active.

CNN’s Keith Allen contributed to this report.