$18 Million Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Guest Arrested in CBD Oil Incident at the Magic Kingdom

A guest arrested last year at the Magic Kingdom after security allegedly found CBD oil in her bag is seeking $18 million in a recently-filed lawsuit.

According to Fox 35 Orlando, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Hester Burkhalter, the great-grandmother arrested in the April 2019 incident, by civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were named as co-defendants.

Burkhalter recalled the experience in an interview with Fox 35, calling it “the most humiliating day of my life.” Felony charges against her were ultimately dropped, but the experience of being arrested still haunts her, as she explained: “Every time I think about it a whole lot of talk about it a whole lot I get nervous and sick to my stomach and just don’t feel well. It affects you when you have to take off your clothes in front of people. It affects me.” According to Burkhalter, her North Carolina family had been planning a vacation at Walt Disney World for over two years prior to the incident.

Crump said, “A 69-year-old grandmother for having CBD oil for her chronic pain associated with advanced arthritis was strip-searched and strip body cavity searched and overall humiliating experience. Officers administered a highly unreliable field test to test it for THC. Which at first came back negative. The bottle was clearly labeled 0% THC.”

According to Crump, Burkhalter was also allegedly denied medical attention when she suffered a panic attack while being put in the patrol car. Burkhalter described her issue: “I even told them I couldn’t I breathe before I finally got out. I even told them that there too. I couldn’t. I felt like I was going to pass out and that’s when I started throwing up.”

Burkhalter’s family allegedly witnessed the incident, as Crump stated, “This is supposed to be the happiest time in a child’s life. These children will never see Disney as anything happy after they watched what their grandmother endured.”

TMZ reports that the lawsuit alleges assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, defamation, and emotional distress, also seeking additional damages for her husband and other family members.

As of the writing of this article, Disney has not commented on the incident.

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Brian Ballone
Brian Ballone
1 month ago

Going to theme parks is stepping foot on private property. You are not entitled to go there. Although CBD with no THC may be legal there are many that question and doubt the legality of it therefore leave it home! My friend wore a chain around his neck with a pad lock – was told to remove it or leave. Because he did not have the key he and his entire party were escorted off the property of the non-Disney theme park. This is after going through security and metal detectors twice that day. It is their property – it… Read more »

kevin hunt
kevin hunt
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Ballone

I’m sure you think that a body cavity search is OK whenever someone sets foot on private property, right? perhaps you are the type of pervert that would enjoy having a cop jam his finger into your rectum?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

While I LOVE WDW, based on everything I’ve read about this case over the last year, WDW Security and Orange County Police should have exercised way better discretion and understanding, and were excessive in their actions, that include long-lasting personal and psychological ramifications to her and her family, especially the children.

I think she clearly will win this case, but through an undisclosed settlement.

Come on Disney, your better than what you allowed to happen here; I definitely know!

Ryan
Ryan
1 month ago

Just reading the grammar and sentence structure in this attorney’s comments shows how big of a jagaloon he is. This will go nowhere.

kevin hunt
kevin hunt
1 month ago
Reply to  Ryan

get this case in front of a jury and there will be a big settlement. This is clearly a case of cops gone rogue

John Wayne
John Wayne
1 month ago
Reply to  Ryan

You’re kidding right…this is one of the best lawyers in the country!

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

As enforcement you have to be detailed but sensitive, on a case by case basis, to a person’s medical needs. Out of all the things people bring through security, this was most definitely excessive response. Disney Security could have easily de-escalated the situation, in an communicatively understanding way, at worst, by telling her, “look, I understand you need this medically, but we’re not allowed to let you bring that in. We’ll provide you a cast member on a cart/trolley/tram, and take your husband to put it back in the car, and we’ll help you in and out personally/speedily in case… Read more »

Doug
Doug
1 month ago

Unfortunate but Disney security screening found something suspicious and followed protocol by notifying Orange County. If it turned out to be nothing, then Orange County did not check things out well. But of course, they are going after the Disney deep pockets.

Vanessa
Vanessa
1 month ago

Absolutely absurd. Laws are laws, and rules are rules. This is a case of someone thinking rules don’t apply to them and then getting angry because they were held accountable. It doesn’t matter where this woman is from, in Florida at that time, CBD was not legal. She should have done her research before she tried to smuggle something illegal into a theme park and not be beyond ridiculous and stupid in her behavior when she got in trouble for it. I don’t care how old she was or what kind of medical condition she has. She broke the law.… Read more »

kevin hunt
kevin hunt
1 month ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Are you a cop? CBD is sold openly in every county in FL and is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. This is a case of sicko cops torturing a poor old lady. I hope she gets a huge settlement

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Yeah, it was overkill, but millions $$$$….? someone’s looking for a lottery win!

Douglas Trayner
Douglas Trayner
1 month ago

Her decision to sue Disney is going to win her a permanent ban to all Disney properties. To many that may not seem like much but she did plan this trim for two years, although I don’t have a clue as to how that’s possible.

Gerald D Herring
Gerald D Herring
1 month ago

Boo hoo I’m old. I deserve special treatment.

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