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Updated: January 29, 2016

Family suing Disney, says boy bitten by snake led to grandmother's death



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Members of the Barry family say their great-grandmother died after she witnessed her grandson being bitten by a snake at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The 8-year-old boy was visiting the park in October 2014, from Alabama, when the family says the green and brown snake fell from a tree and bit the boy on the legs. The boy had some swelling, but was not seriously hurt. The family members said the great-grandmother, who was in her 90s, began to have difficulty breathing, and they left the park.

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Orlando attorney Matt Morgan is representing the family, who said they plan to file a lawsuit in the next couple of weeks.

Morgan and the family haven't filed the lawsuit yet while they try to determine if anyone else has had a similar experience.

During a news conference on Friday, Morgan said the great-grandmother continued to have trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital. She died two days later of a heart attack.

“It is our position, that the event of the snake falling on this young boy and the great-grandmother witnessing, this event was the proximate cause of her death,” Morgan said.

The family told Morgan that Disney officials said the snake was nonvenomous.

Disney officials told WFTV they immediately counted the snakes inside the park and concluded it was a wild snake.

"The standard is when you have invitees coming onto your property, you have a duty to protect them from danger you know about or should know about," Morgan said.

Morgan said there’s no way to prove whether Disney had knowledge of wild snakes on its property without filing a lawsuit and subpoenas. 

WFTV asked Morgan if the law office would be interested in filing a lawsuit if the snake bite happened anywhere other than Disney. 

“No,” Morgan said.

Disney said any claims of a wrongful death are a misrepresentation of the facts.

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