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Lawyer: Alligator warning signs should have been up at Disney World

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It shocked, stunned and scared anyone who has spent time at Disney World. Little Lane Graves was gruesomely grabbed and killed by a gator in very shallow water off the Grand Floridian Resort.

According to Tampa lawyer Barry Cohen, Disney had a duty to inform guests of the danger lurking in the Seven Seas Lagoon. Disney has since told the Orlando Sentinel warning signs will soon be posted.

“They need to do what they need to do to protect their invitees, say ‘Look, there are alligators out here,’” Cohen asserted.

He said the argument that “no swimming” signs suffice is hogwash.

“To fail to tell people whether they’re from Florida or Nebraska or anywhere else that these gators are out there, they’re hungry, the season is right, they come to shore, and not to tell their invitees about this danger is civilly and criminally negligent,” Cohen asserted.

People are enticed to the area with beautiful vistas, and Cohen said there’s an obligation to inform them of the dangers.

“You can’t create the environment that they’ve created and not tell people that there’s a dangerous, there’s a predator, aggressive fast predator that can eat you alive and jump at you fast,” he said.

In 1986 a gator grabbed Paul Santamaria, of Manchester, New Hampshire, by the leg, while he was playing near a pond at the Fort Wilderness Campground.

“I started to take my available leg, my free leg, and started kicking it in the face, trying to get it to let me go. And I don’t know how long the attack lasted, it was hard to tell, but eventually it just opened its mouth and let me go and retreated back into the water,” Paul said.

“They need to put signs there to tell people that there’s a dangerous predator in this water, close to shore,” Cohen added.