The place that is dubbed “the happiest place on earth” may have been anything but joyful for a number of people who contracted measles while at Disneyland and its adjacent park, Disney’s California Adventure. According to a recent USA Today.com report, health officials linked the outbreak to patrons who attended the park between December 15 and December 20.
For the uninitiated, the measles virus can be highly contagious. Health officials indicate that the virus can hang in the air “like a ghost” for up to two hours, even though it does not speak on surfaces. As such, it is not suspected that the park could be dangerous for patrons. Additionally, if a person has been vaccinated (as many children in the United States have been), the measles virus is not likely to pose a threat. Since the infected patrons visited the park nearly a month ago, it has been deemed safe for the public.
Nevertheless, the outbreak does raise questions about a theme park’s liability for spreading contagious diseases. On a threshold level, a park (or any other public venue, for that matter) has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to keep public areas free of contaminants that can spread disease. Essentially, there is a duty to sanitize areas where diseases can fester and become dangerous to the public.
If a premises owner fails to adhere to this duty, and a patron is sickened as a result, the owner could be held liable.
If you believe you have become sick because of unsanitary conditions in a restaurant, theme park or other public venue, discussing your rights and options with an experienced attorney is helpful.
The preceding is not legal advice.
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