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The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Mascot Groping Incident Costs Disney Before Lawsuit Even Begins

 April Magolon and her family visited Epcot for a Disney family vacation from Pennsylvania.  While holding her child and posing with Donald Duck for a picture, Magolon claims Donald Duck groped her breast, then joked about it.

Magolon filed a lawsuit against Disney for the inappropriate behavior.  Defense counsel responded by stating that Magolon sued the wrong Disney corporate entity. They asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit or move it to Florida, where the encounter took place. However,  U.S. District Judge John R. Padova, ruled to continue the groping suit filed by April Magolon in her native Pennsylvania.  Judge Padova states “She, her fiance (who was a witness to the alleged assault), and her treating doctors are all located in Pennsylvania,”  Disney also has greater resources to try the case in Pennsylvania than Magolon does to try it in Florida, as written by Padova  in a Dec. 29 ruling.  The Associated Press left messages for both attorneys to comment on the ruling but calls were not immediately returned.

What Disney did was invoke a rule of litigation procedure, where a lawsuit must be resolved where the injury occurred.  But on the other side, Judge Padova brought up another rule of procedure, called “forum non conveniens.”  That’s a legal term, meaning that the “proper” place to resolve the dispute is too inconvenient for the parties.

Was it fair for the judge to make a wealthy party spend the money to accomodate its opponent?

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