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“No Swimming” is not the same as “Danger, Alligators”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graves family, especially as they lay their son Lane to rest this week. As a father of two sons, who as toddlers, splashed in calm waters at many resorts, I can only imagine the pain and grief Matt and Melissa Graves are feeling and will feel their entire lives.

This tragic event has sparked many postings on social media sites, some informative, most not, which have included misinformation about personal injury law. As I have explained to many, our system of civil justice is based on the principle that each of us (individuals and businesses) is to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances then existing.   In considering whether Disney’s conduct was reasonable, an issue will be whether a “No Swimming” sign was effective in warning guests of the true nature of the danger of swimming in the resort lagoon. In order for a warning to be effective, it must convey the true danger of the risk involved.

Disney’s  “No Swimming” signs did not mention the threat of alligators and consequently failed to effectively warn its patrons of the true danger of swimming in the lagoon. It may be second nature to Floridians that any body of water could house alligators, but this knowledge is lost on out-of-state visitors. Disney World, which hosts more visitors in a year than the Nation’s capital, has an obligation to effectively educate their patrons on the natural dangers within the park. “No Swimming” is not the same as “Danger, Alligators.” Had the latter signage been posted, Disney may have prevented this tragedy. Last week a young boy’s life was cut short due to an ineffective warning of danger. While I am glad Disney is putting up new signs, it’s way too little, way too late.

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Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Justin Curcio
Associate

Justin Curcio received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Justin also spent a semester studying law at the University of Glasgow…

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Kathy McAfee
Office Manager

As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
Legal Assistant/Receptionist

Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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