The family of 2-year-old Lane Graves, who was killed by an alligator at a Disney World resort in Bay Lake, Florida, last month, said they don’t plan to sue Disney over their son’s death.
Matt and Melissa Graves of Omaha, Nebraska, released a statement on Wednesday, July 20, about their decision, according to The Washington Post. “Melissa and I are broken. We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane,” they said. “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 grieving parents plan to keep their son’s “spirit alive” by creating the Lane Thomas Foundation in his memory. “It is our hope that through the foundation we will be able to share with others the unimaginable love Lane etched in our hearts. In addition to the foundation, we will solely be focused on the future health of our family and will not be pursuing a lawsuit against Disney. For now, we continue to ask for privacy as we focus on our family,” they said.
A family spokesperson, Sara Brady, told CBS News that she couldn’t say whether the family had reached a financial settlement with Disney World.
As previously reported, the toddler was wading at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort on June 14 when he was snatched by an alligator. His parents attempted to save their son, but the child was dragged away by the reptile. Matt later said a second alligator attacked him as he tried to pry Lane away from the gator’s mouth.
After an extensive search, the little boy’s body was found the following day in the immediate area of the incident. The medical examiner said the cause of death was drowning and traumatic injuries. The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission later said they are “confident” they caught and removed the alligator responsible for the tragedy.
While the beach area had “no swimming” signs, there were no visible warnings of wildlife danger. After Disney reviewed its protocol and signage, they put new notices in place near all their beaches. “Danger! Alligators and snakes in the area,” the new signs read. “Stay away from the water. Do not feed the wildlife.”
The president of the Walt Disney World Resort, George A. Kalogridis, also released a statement on Wednesday about the fatal attack. “In the wake of this tragic accident we continue to provide ongoing support for the family, which includes honoring their request for privacy,” he said, according to The Washington Post.
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