Family of 2-Year-Old Gator Attack Victim Won’t Sue Disney

Lane Graves, a 2-year-old boy who was pulled into the water by an alligator at a lagoon near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort on June 14, 2016. Orange County Sheriff's Department via social media / Handout via Reuters
Lane Graves, a 2-year-old boy who was pulled into the water by an alligator at a lagoon near Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort on June 14, 2016. Orange County Sheriff’s Department via social media / Handout via Reuters

The family of a toddler who was killed after an alligator snatched him at a Disney resort has decided not to sue.

“Melissa and I are broken. We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane,” Matt and Melissa Graves said in a statement Wednesday. “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 Graves said they intended on keeping two-year-old Lane’s “spirit alive” through a foundation they created in his memory. “In addition to the foundation,” they said, “we will solely be focused on the future health of our family and we will not be pursuing a lawsuit against Disney.”

Lane was dragged underwater at a beach area near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on June 14 as his horrified parents looked on. Authorities said his father tried to wrestle him away from the alligator, but couldn’t. Matt Graves later told officials he was attacked by a second alligator as he tried to save Lane.

The little boy’s body was found intact in the water the following day after a desperate search. A medical examiner said the cause of death was drowning and traumatic injuries.

The Graves, from Elkhorn, Nebraska, had been at the Seven Seas Lagoon with their 4-year-old daughter and Lane, who was playing in the water on a beach area when he was attacked. “No swimming” signs were posted nearby, but none of them warned the water had alligators.

In the days after Lane’s death, Disney reviewed its safety protocols, and added new barriers and signage that specifically warned: “Beware! There are alligators and snakes in the area.” Officials said they were confident they had killed the alligator who attacked Lane.

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SOURCE: NBC News – Elizabeth Chuck