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Tampa Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Wrongful Death > Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Woman is Killed by Alligator

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Woman is Killed by Alligator


Florida is known for its large alligator population. They have been known to seriously injure and kill residents.

When a person dies a wrongful death, they can typically sue the liable party. But when an alligator kills them, do they have any recourse? Can they still file a lawsuit?

One Florida family is. A Florida woman was killed by an alligator a year ago while walking her dog. Her family is suing the real estate company that owns the property where the attack occurred.

The 85-year-old woman was walking her dog in February 2023. She was in her backyard in the Spanish Lakes Fairways development in Fort Pierce, which has a pond with a 10-foot alligator known as “Henry.” The alligator attempted to take her dog, and the woman was knocked over. The gator grabbed the woman by the foot and dragged her into the pond. The woman died from her injuries. The alligator was later caught and euthanized.

The woman started walking her dog in her backyard after a letter from the property manager told her she was limited to walking her dog on her property or on the dog run, which the development owned. However, the dog run was more than a mile from her house, so walking her dog in the backyard was more convenient.

The development owner practically forced the woman to walk her dog near a retention pond that contained large alligators, according to the lawsuit. Residents were allowed to feed wildlife, including Henry the alligator. This led to socialization of the alligator.

The gator, which was more than 10 feet long, could have been removed. The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program had a toll-free hotline where trappers would remove alligators more than 4 feet long. Having Henry removed from Spanish Lakes Fairway would have been the safest option.

Property owners in Florida have a legal duty to identify dangerous conditions on the property and take immediate steps to remove the threat. The managers at Spanish Lakes Fairways failed to live up to their obligations, causing the woman to die.

Spanish Lakes Fairways was created 37 years ago. There are approximately 3,000 residents and this was the first time where a resident was attacked by an alligator. The woman’s family was suing because they did not want other families to have this same experience.

Although Florida has more than 1.25 million alligators, attacks are rare. Between 1948 and 2021, there were 442 unprovoked bite attacks, with 26 of the bites resulting in death.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Alligator sightings are a fact of life in Florida. But when these gators attack and cause fatalities, what legal options do you have?

A Tampa wrongful death attorney from Moore Law can help you build a compelling case so you and your family get the compensation you need to move on from such a tragic situation. To schedule a free consultation, call 813-510-5400 or fill out the online form.



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