Karen Boozer says she and her husband finally decided to sue Disneyland when the entertainment company suggested the couple was trying to extort money from it for their questionable detention at the amusement park nearly two years ago.
"It was an implication, and I took it very personally," Boozer said. "That's when we got serious about filing a lawsuit."The Ammon couple made good on its threat last week when the southern California firm of Neil C. Newson and Associates filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking over $12 million in actual and punitive damages from the Walt Disney Co.
The claim stemmed from the Disneyland trip the Boozers and their two young children won in the fall of 1989. After purchasing three coin banks at a shop in the park, the family was stopped right outside the door by a security guard who accused them of shoplifting one of the $2.50 souvenirs that was being held by 2-year-old Melissa, who was in a stroller. The other two were in a bag.
The suit alleges the security guard refused to check the sales slip that showed the bank had been paid for and after publicly ridiculing the family took them to a security area, where they were held for two hours.
While there, the suit claimed, the couple's 4-year-old daughter was traumatized when she saw employees who wear the Disney character costumes carrying the costume heads and wearing breathing apparatus. It also accused Disneyland personnel of refusing to provide a place for Melissa's diaper to be changed or allowing the couple to feed their children while being detained.
Idaho Falls attorney John Ohman, acting on the Boozers' behalf, contacted company officials about the incident. They "readily acknowledged it had been a company mistake" because a clerk violated the policy that all sales items be carried from a shop in a bag, Ohman said.