Family of toddler killed by gator at Orlando Disney resort won’t sue

Photo of Lane Graves from the Orange County Sheriff's Office

OMAHA, Neb. (WESH)  — The family of the toddler who was snatched and killed by an alligator at a Disney resort last month said they would not be pursuing a lawsuit against the company.

In a statement released Wednesday, Matt and Melissa Graves, of Nebraska, said they intend to keep their son’s spirit alive through the Lane Thomas Foundation.

“It is our hope that through the foundation we will be able to share with others the unimaginable love Lane etched in our hearts,” the family said.

The Graveses said they’re focusing solely on the future health of their family and won’t sue Disney.

Authorities said Lane Graves was wading in the water of the Seven Seas Lagoon with his father outside the Grand Floridian Resort on June 14, when an alligator attacked the toddler and pulled him into the water.

The boy’s body was found the next day.

The family’s full statement:

“Melissa and I are broken. We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane. 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. We know that we can never have Lane back, and therefore, we intend to keep his spirit alive through the Lane Thomas Foundation. 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.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trappers searched the lake after the attack and removed multiple alligators. A spokesperson said trappers removed the alligator that attacked the boy.

Following the attack, an attorney said that Disney should have had signs warning about alligators in the lake. Disney ended up installing warning signs. 

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