$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.