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Woman killed by alligator while walking her dog was ‘forced to walk by pond’

Woman killed by alligator while walking her dog was ‘forced to walk by pond’

The woman's son claimed her death was preventable

The family of an 85-year-old woman who was killed by an alligator in her Florida retirement community have launched a lawsuit against the company that runs the place.

On 20 February, 2023, Gloria Serge was walking her dog along the side of a lake near her home in Spanish Lakes Fairways when an alligator emerged from the water.

The alligator grabbed the 85-year-old's foot and dragged her into the lake where she drowned.

Now the family of Gloria Serge have launched a lawsuit against Wynne Building Corporation claiming wrongful death, and that maintenance staff at the retirement community allegedly knew the alligator so well that they fed and named it.

Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith, the law firm representing the Serge family, claimed in a press release that property managers 'encouraged people to sit near the lake' and did not put up signs warning about alligators which 'flies in the face of common sense and warnings from wildlife experts'.

The alligator was later captured.
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office

"The presence of large alligators in the lakes on the property was well known to the property manager, and this gator was no exception," Gary S. Lesser alleged in the announcement of the lawsuit.

"In fact, evidence obtained by our firm will show that maintenance workers in the community routinely fed this alligator chicken scraps and even named the dangerous reptile 'Henry'.

"There were no signs posted around the lake warning residents of the presence of an alligator, and the property managers encouraged people to sit near the lake by placing a bench along the shoreline."

The legal firm said that 'Henry' was at least 10 feet long, and thus property management could have called to have him removed from the retirement community.

At a news conference, Lesser claimed that the retirement community 'encouraged their residents to socialize by the retention pond' and alleged that the 85-year-old woman was 'forced' to walk her dog there as she was not allowed to do so in the streets of the community.

According to the complaint, the Serge family are seeking at least $50,000 in damages from Wynne Building Corporation and Spanish Lakes Fairways.

"Property owners in Florida, and particularly those managing residential communities catering to elderly residents, have a legal and non-delegable duty to identify dangerous conditions on the property, warn those in the vicinity of the danger and take immediate steps to remove the threat," lawyer Joshua D. Ferraro said.

"Unfortunately, the managers at Spanish Lakes Fairways failed to live up to their obligations, and as a direct result, Gloria died a horrible and terrifying death."

Wynne Building Corporation president Joel Wynne provided a statement as reported by NBC.

He said: "We developed Spanish Lakes Fairways 37 years ago. We have approximately 3,000 residents. This is the very first time where a resident was attacked by an Alligator."

"Mrs. Serge was a longtime resident and certainly knew of the presence of alligators and that they were inherently dangerous animals."

LADbible have contacted Wynne Building Corporation for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: FOX News/St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office

Topics: US News, Animals