TAMPA, Fla. - A family from Lithia is suing Legoland, saying a trip there on July 16 has become an unending nightmare for their 10-year-old son.
Aleisha Mullinax's son was born without part of one leg.
"I don't want people to look at him and see a disability," Mullinax said. "We just wanted to go have a fun day. We had been in this house for months."
They brought his regular prosthetic leg, which he relies upon for swimming, on their Legoland trip.
"[The prosthetic leg] is the reason he lives a normal life, it's the reason he can get up and walk, that he can play, that he can run," she explained.
Mullinax says they asked staff members in the park's office if her son would have to take off his prosthesis to ride any of the rides. She says the staff did not expect anyone would ask her son to remove his prosthesis, but if that were to happen, he would be allowed to carry it while on any rides.
That's why Mullinax was stunned when she found her in the landing pool for a waterslide, tip-toeing to the side in a panic because the water was almost as deep as he was tall.
A lawsuit filed by the family says the ride attendant asked the little boy to take off his leg and leave it at the top.
"What you did was the opposite of safe," Mullinax said of the park. "You sent my son down without his security and you humiliated him because he does not take his leg off for anybody."
The family is suing Legoland for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. They are seeking damages in unspecified amounts, saying the boy is having sleeping troubles, nightmares about drowning, and PTSD.
Legoland released a statement saying, "While we do not comment on specific cases, we are fully committed to providing an awesome experience for all our guests, including individuals with different abilities. Every attraction... meets or exceeds safety guidelines from state agencies and attraction manufacturers."
But the lawsuit says, "She observed that the lifeguards did not appear to realize that there was an emergency, as they had not been notified that a disabled boy was going down the slide."
"I do not want any other kid to feel the way my son felt and I do not want another parent to feel the way I felt that day," Mullinax said.